Ryan Maloney prepares to return to Queensland after riding Alligator Blood in the Golden Eagle

PREMIERSHIP front-runner Ryan Maloney has had a vastly more enjoyable quarantine stint than Jim Byrne did a few weeks earlier as he prepares to return to Queensland racing this week.

Byrne was forced to endure two weeks of hotel quarantine after his Rothfire commitments in Sydney and made no secret of it being a torrid fortnight.

Conversely Maloney, who had flagged quarantine for him might resemble a sequel to The Shining, was able to ‘do his time’ after Alligator Blood’s Golden Eagle run on the New South Wales central coast, thanks to the easing of quarantine requirements.

“It’s been pretty good. I just had to stay out of Sydney for two weeks,” Maloney said.

“I’ve been at Nambucca Heads, Yamba and spent a week training with Ron Johnson.”

He was even able to ride at a couple of country meetings, steering home winners at Port Macquarie on Thursday and Ballina on Friday.

Maloney arrived home yesterday and will return to riding on Wednesday at Ipswich.

He still holds a seven win lead over Byrne in the Metropolitan premiership, where Ladbrokes have him a $1.30 chance to win, with Byrne ($9), Baylee Nothdurft and Ben Thompson (both $12) and Jimmy Orman ($13) considered his biggest dangers.

Like Byrne, Thompson also had to go through quarantine before starting up in Queensland back in August.

With a Doomben double on Rhapsody Rose and Dominant King, things are starting to fall into place for the former Victorian, who has now ridden 27 winners since arriving.

“I’ve been very lucky to receive the great support I have in a short amount of time,” he told Radio TABs Past The Post.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better start. I’m receiving great support from Steven O’Dea, Matt Hoysted, Tony Gollan, Robert Heathcote, Bryan and Daniel Guy stable, just to name a few.

“I’m a lightweight, which is a big help. When I first made the move, to pick up numbers being able to ride the minimum comfortably helped quite a lot.

“Hopefully things can keep rolling along.”


Regally-related Spring Stakes winner The Elanora may be headed to the Queensland summer carnival, with owner-breeder John Singleton flagging a start in the Grand Prix Stakes at Eagle Farm on December 26.

The Elanora is by Redoute’s Choice from Yesterjoy, a daughter of former outstanding mare Tuesday Joy.

Originally published asMaloney returns to premiership quest

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