It's Monday May 8 1995, I've just finished the trials at Mornington, jumped in the car and headed to my manager’s place in Mt Eliza to discuss my mounts for the weekend. It was the Adelaide carnival, and back in those days it was a two-day festival, Saturday being the Goodwood and the SA Oaks, Monday the Adelaide Cup and SA Derby.
Not long after arriving at my manager’s (Dale Verhagen) house, he received a call from legendary trainer George Hanlon, who was seeking a lightweight jockey to ride his charge Centisle in the Goodwood. We sat and discussed our options; I hadn't received any other offers for rides at Morphettville and I was more than likely going to have a full book in Melbourne.
Centisle's form in Melbourne and Sydney over the autumn carnival was average; she certainly hadn't performed at her best and there wasn't a whole lot to get excited about, but at the end of the day, it was a Group 1 ride and they're always hard to knock back, especially for champion trainers like George.
To be honest, it was never my decision, my girlfriend at the time made the decision for me, I was off to Morphettville.
Come Thursday, the barriers were drawn and we ended up with 19 out of 20. I was pretty pissed off to say the least and I was regretting my decis...