Brett Mathews has made a successful transition from jockey to trainer.
It comes less than a year after he was given a dire warning by doctors.
Mathews was told to hang up the saddle or his health would be at risk.
The rigours of ‘wasting’ and a strict dieting regime had finally taken its toll.
“I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes which was caused by wasting,” said Mathews.
“It was killing my body and I was left with little alternative but to retire.
“I tried to make it through last season but had to give it away about a ¼ of the way through.
“It was a major adjustment to make but something I had to get on with.”
If Mathews had any misgivings joining the training ranks they quickly disappeared. His move has been seamless.
He got off to an ideal when he trained a winner with his first starter, Daradale, at Kalgoorlie’s season-opening meeting in March.
He has prepared a further four winners, four seconds and a fourth from 15 starters, a winning strike rate of 31 per cent.
Last Sunday he trained a quinella when Leica Hussey, at massive odds, scored an upset win over stable mate, Pegatego.
“I couldn’t be happier with the results I am getting,” said Mathews.
“It’s always something I wanted to do and try my hand at.
“I’m still learning the ropes and Paul Rowe has been a big help.
“I’ve been fortunate to have good people and owners behind me.”
Mathews has entered former Perth galloper Leica Hussey in the $40,000 2YO & 3YO Goldfields Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on the weekend.
The filly shed her maiden status for Mathews in May and returned to the winner’s enclosure after finishing well back at her next three runs.
“Her two wins have been full of fight and she is back on track again,” said Mathews.
“If she starts I think she is a big hope in the race.
“But Mr Mowtown looks a standout.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli