By Ray Hickson
Weight battles are nothing new to jockey Rory Hutchings.
But spare a thought for the 22-year-old as he’ll spend the rest of the week basically torturing himself - by the average person's standards - to ride boom sprinter Bon Amis at Rosehill on Saturday at his allotted 56.5kg.
It might not sound like such a challenge for a jockey.
Hutchings, though, has his minimum set at 56kg but rarely rides under 57kg. He had to work overtime to ride at Canterbury on Wednesday at 57.5kg but it’s a lifestyle he’s now used to.
“When I was an apprentice all I was doing was fighting it,’’ he said.
“I ended up losing the battle at one stage. I'm on top of it now but it's all about preparation.’’
That preparation actually involves gaining weight to start.
And if you saw how exhausted Hutchings was after made 56kg to win on Bon Amis at Rosehill earlier this month nobody would begrudge him a decent feed.
A fist pump across the line for winning that Benchmark 75 race illustrated how much it meant.
Hutchings has given an insight into how he’ll sweat it out to ride the Jason Deamer-trained Bon Amis in the Goldners Horse Transport Handicap (1100m).
“It's important I stay disciplined,’’ he said.
“I allow it go to 58.5kg (Wednesday night) then slowly bring it down in the next couple of days.
“I rode last Saturday and Sunday then I let myself go Monday and Tuesday and that's why I had a bit of a struggle on Wednesday.
“I'm giving my body a bit of a break by getting rehydrated fully and just putting things back into my body.’’
You’d think the extra 0.5kg Bon Amis will carry on Saturday compared to last start would make the preparation a little easier for Hutchings but that’s not the case.
He said it’s important that he stays active in the lead up to Saturday, he quite enjoys a round of golf and does plenty of running.
“I wasn't in a good way after I rode him last start but that's what I think of the horse, I just pushed my body right to the limit to ride him,’’ he said.
“I think he's at least stakes grade, he's still toying with his rivals and still waiting for them.
Bon Amis makes it four from four at Rosehill on November 11
“He felt like he had more up his sleeve. I can't wait for the penny to drop with him and we can see his full potential.’’
Bon Amis led all the way to win at his city debut as a raging $1.40 favourite and he’s a warm $2.50 early TAB elect to make it five from five.
Punters Intel data showed that the four-year-old dashed home in 33.07 for his last 600m with a very slick 11.01 for his last 200m at Rosehill on November 11.
Hutchings said depending on how things pan out early in the race on Saturday he’d prefer not to lead this time around.
“I went into that race knowing he's a better horse chasing but we had to lead because there was no pace and had to take luck out of the question,’’ he said.
“Hopefully I can get in and we can have something to run down in the straight.
“I'm not going to fight the horse if he flies the lids and lands in front or outside the leader. But Plan A is to ride off speed with cover.’’