Jockey Brett Prebble (Image: Racing Photos)
It is 24 years since a rookie Brett Prebble won his first VRC St Leger and on Saturday the jockey is again looking to the race to help build some career momentum.
Since the win of $13 chance St Shannon for trainer Leon Corstens in the 1996 St Leger - which was one of the first Stakes successes for the then 18-year-old apprentice - the Melbourne Cup-winning rider has excelled at riding in distance races and so is looking forward to the 2800-metre test on Saturday where he partners the highest-rating contender, Chains Of Honour.
"I enjoy it," Prebble said of riding in staying races. "It's a lot different. It's more about tactics. Things can change a lot along the way, so you've got to keep your wits about you.
"You've got more time to appreciate the race, unless you're on a difficult one that's giving you a horror ride, then it can be a very long race."
Chains Of Honour, who is by Redoute's Choice out of VRC Oaks winner Faint Perfume, has shown a deal of talent over his short career and comes into the St Leger off unplaced runs in the Group 1 double of the Rosehill Guineas and ATC Derby.
He has also proven a handful on occasions but Prebble is determined to be ready for whatever the well-bred gelding serves up.
"I think he's got an engine there but I'm not sure if he knows how to use it," Prebble said of the Gerald Ryan-trained stayer. "He's got some quirks looking at him, but he can stay.
"The race It doesn't look overly strong. A wide gate (12 of 14) is probably not going to worry mine as he comes out tardy and he wants to go back and pull so we've got a nice run down to the first turn so we'll just see if I can get him comfy.
"Hopefully there is some speed in the race so that might just help his manners."
Prebble said a St Leger win would provide some much-needed momentum as he has been battling to find a good horse to partner since his return from Hong Kong.
"I'm struggling a bit to get some decent rides," he said. "I obviously can't ride trackwork at the moment but we're just back riding at the trials so that might help in getting some better-quality rides.