Chad Lever took the Kembla Grange jockeys premiership down to the final day last season and is once again in a position to make a run for the title in 2016-17.
It took a Mitchell Bell four-timer to beat him last season but with the support of the powerful Chris Waller, who leads the trainers premiership, Lever is well positioned only a couple of wins from NSW's leading jockey Jeff Penza.
“It is something that just happens and you start to look at it around this time of the year,” Lever said. “It has probably been my best year since coming here and I’m getting good support. It would be great to win."
Lever came to NSW from Adelaide three years and it has been the best part of that period for him to establish himself as a leading provincial jockey, who regularly has full books of rides.
He rides work for Waller and has Jaunty, Earth, Jardine and Vanzetta for the premier stable at Kembla on Saturday.
Lever is looking forward to the return of Earth as a gelding in the Brian Chudleigh Appreciation Benchmark 65 Handicap. As a two-year-old, Earth had been tested in stakes company in Brisbane last year.
“We have always had an opinion of him and since he has been back he trialled well,” Lever said. “He is a horse that we want to see show his talent on raceday.
“If he does, he’s definitely up to city class.”
Outside his rides for Waller, Lever is in well fancied Anmate, Magentaz and Dream I Can, which is odds-on to break a frustrating run of seconds in the One Flush Plumbing Maiden Plate.