Just on 12 months ago Tom Sadler was riding on a high.
He combined with his trainer father John to win the Group Three Easter Cup at Caulfield with Observational who gave Tom his solitary black-type victory.
A year on and Sadler is on the verge of getting his ticket to ride in jumps races.
Not eating combined with constant wasting took a toll on Sadler who late last year decided he needed a break.
But his love of horses has lured him back and he’s now riding work for Henry Dwyer, describing anything to do with thoroughbreds a pleasure.
“I wasn’t enjoying the lifestyle so I had a bit of a break from it,” Sadler said.
“I ride work every morning for Henry and then I go down to Barwon Heads two or three times a week and ride work down there during the day.
“I walk around 63 or 64 (kg) and I’m very fit.”
Sadler gets to ride a number of Dwyer’s nicer horses which he says makes the early starts easier to deal with, especially after a good meal the night before.
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He also said riding a tricky horse was easier on a full stomach rather than battling it when dehydrated and having a headache.
“Sometimes it’s like being hung over without the fun night to go with it,” he said.
The days of wasting to ride on the flat are behind him.
He says his jumps career is more about fun rather than being stressed about getting his weight down.
Two rides in hurdle schools at Cranbourne on Thursday means he only needs three more before getting his ticket for race rides and he hopes to make his debut at Warrnambool’s May carnival.
“It’s a different tempo to that of schooling at home, but I really enjoyed it ,” Sadler said.
“Steve Pateman has a couple going towards the maiden hurdle on the first day and being a dual licence holder he can’t ride them, so that’s a possibility for me.
“I’m hoping for my sake that I can pick up one there as Warrnambool hasn’t really been a big part of my career.
“I did it when I was younger but in recent years I haven’t had a lot of rides that were worthwhile going down for, so it will be great to be a part of it.”