Two for two: Rejuvenated Simon Miller returns in good form

Simon Miller has made a habit of greeting the judge first since returning to the saddle last month.

Albury jockey Simon Miller registered a rare feat over the weekend.

Travelling to Gundagai on Saturday and Canberra on Sunday, the 37-year-old had just one ride on each program, but he won both races, going two-for-two.

At Gundagai, Miller combined with Mitchel Beer when jumping aboard the well-supported Greek Tycoon, and the pair won easily in the end, with the $4.20 chance putting away the 1180m Class One Handicap field by more than three lengths. 

On Sunday, Miller teamed up with another Albury trainer in Donna Scott, this time hopping aboard despised outsider Snap Book in the 1400m Maiden Handicap.

Despite starting at 80/1, Miller got the four-year-old to the outside, and the pair flashed home strongly and won easily in the end, putting the field away by more than two lengths. 

When asked about his two rides for two wins, Miller was always confident Greek Tycoon would run a good race for connections. 

“He’s comeback really good. He trialled a week or so before that race and he surprised me with how good he trialled because he is a pretty lazy track worker and it was good to see him bring that trial form to the races,” Miller said. 

“At Gundagai, he ended up getting on the back of the favourite, and he got away with it pretty cheaply early and he got the last shot at them.”

As far as his ride on Snap Book, Miller knows the horse, but even he admitted he wasn’t as confident of springing an upset result in the nation’s capital. 

Simon Miller guides Greek Tyron to victory at Gundagai on Saturday.

“I jumped it out at Wodonga, and took it to Benalla first-up, but it was a heavy 10 that day and we went to the inside and it was like quicksand, but it was still a bit of a disappointing run,” Miller said. 

“Going to Canberra, I thought he could cut the corner and run into third or fourth, but he surprised me with what he did, and he had to come four and five wide and he won like a nice horse.”

Miller’s two wins in two rides highlight what has been a very good run of form for a jockey that recently spent two months on the sideline. 

Since returning from his self-imposed break late last month, Miller has taken 15 rides and booted home six winners, landing victories at Wagga, Goulburn, Albury, Gundagai, and Canberra. 

“I had a month off; I was a bit heavy and a bit sick of it and I needed a break,” Miller said. 

“Then when I was ready to come back, I hopped on the scales and I was about 63 and a half kilos, so I signed up to the gym that day and I decided to have another month off to get on top of my weight.

“To be honest, it was the best thing I’ve ever done. It was good for me mentally and physically to give the body a break.”

Miller has ridden as low as 57.5kg since returning, and while he admitted he still had some weight to lose, he explained that he was in a much better place with his riding. 

“I still need to tidy up my eating and not have so many beers, but my fitness is as good as it’s ever been,” Miller said. 

“I’m running and I’m at the gym every day and I’m in the right frame of mind, and most importantly, I am looking forward to going to the races again.

“I’m riding a bit heavy at the moment, but I lost 4kgs in two and a half weeks, and the rest will come but I’m feeling good in the saddle.”

Miller, who has made a name for himself as one of the better jockeys in the Southern Districts and South East, spent his time off working with Beer, Scott, and other border trainers, and now that he is back in the saddle, he is just grateful to be given good opportunities. 

“I just ride for Mitch and Donna, and help Pat Widdup and Kym Davison out a bit,” Miller said. 

“When I wasn’t race riding, I was still working for Mitch, and now that’s why I’m getting some good opportunities, because I was still turning up and doing my job when I wasn’t racing.”

Miller had planned on riding at the postponed Adaminaby meeting on Saturday, but there is no doubting that more opportunities will be on the horizon if he maintains his recent run of form.