Jockey Andrew Mallyon is set to make his move to Queensland a permanent one after finding the perfect work-life balance.
It all comes as the 31-year-old prepares to ride Stradbroke hopeful Emerald Kingdom on the Sunshine Coast on Friday night before heading back down for the Gold Coast meeting on Saturday.
The Victorian moved to Queensland last September in search of a better balance between riding and looking after his young family. With two young sons, Archer, 5, and Finn, 3, Mallyon admitted he would be left heartbroken after going several days without seeing them.
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“There’d be days where I wouldn’t even see them,” Mallyon said.
“I’d do trackwork and go to the races before they were out of bed and I’d be getting home when they were back in bed.
“It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to go several days without seeing them and we live in the same house. It was pretty hard.”
Which is why he described his move to the Sunshine State as “the best thing I’ve ever done”.
“I don’t want to go back to Victoria, I’ve enjoyed it that much up here,” he said.
“There’s so many things I missed out on, like birthday parties and little gatherings.
“Now, it’s agreeing with me a lot more.
“This is the balance I’ve been looking for in the past couple years.”
Mallyon is set to ride prized five-year-old Emerald Kingdom in the Chief De Beers Handicap (1000m) on the Sunshine Coast.
The Robert Heathcote-trained sprinter is looking to continue its incredible form, with six wins from its past six starts. However, Heathcote said it will be a tough ask to make it seven consecutive wins in Friday night’s race.
“He’s going for seven in a row,” Heathcote said. “That’s always a feat in itself for a horse to put a picket fence together and he’s put two of them together.
“It’s going to be hard (at) 1000m on the Caloundra track with the likes of Tarzan … there’s a ton of speed in that (race). He showed last prep 1400m might be his go. I thought it was his best win his last win before he went for a spell.”
Mallyon said he saw plenty of potential in the five-year-old.
“We’re yet to see the best of him and I hope I’m getting on him at the right time,” Mallyon said. “He’s definitely a horse that has all the makings of a top horse.”