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No rest for determined Lane

Leading jockey determined to make a good thing of premiership quest

Damian Lane brings up his second win of the day at Caulfield aboard Bossy Nic.
Damian Lane brings up his second win of the day at Caulfield aboard Bossy Nic. Picture: Racing Photos

It was again a Saturday with its frustrations, but a candid Damian Lane has expressed his relief at returning to the winner's stall on the biggest day of the racing week.

Fresh from a quick trip to Japan, Lane resumed his quest for a maiden Melbourne Jockeys' Premiership with a winning double at Caulfield.

After an early win aboard Kin, Lane followed up with victory aboard Bossy Nic, which were just his third and fourth metropolitan wins in June but his first Saturday successes since partnering The Map to victory in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes on May 18.

They were confidence-boosting results after what Lane himself described as a 'tough' period.

"It's been a tough period for me for city winners the last few weeks to be completely honest, particularly Saturdays, so I'm just working towards as many wins as I can," Lane said.

"It's just been one of those frustrating runs that have come these last four or five weeks.

"I've been riding handy horses in what look their right races, things just haven't panned out, (there's been) a lot of seconds.

"There's nothing I could put it down to it's just the way things have worked out."

Lane was most likely denied a third winner at Caulfield when Fleetwood got tangled up at the start, missing the kick by at least five lengths and spotting the leaders up to 15 lengths at one stage before charging home to finish third.

Lane admitted to looking on enviously at social media over recent weeks while many of his fellow riders are holidaying in warm locations, but the premiership has taken priority.

He has 79 Victorian city wins for the season, 16 more than last year's premiership winner Blake Shinn with one month of the season to go.

In third place, a further 16 wins back, is another jockey who rode a double at Caulfield on Saturday, Michael Dee.

"Seeing other people's Instagram posts of warm spots around the world, it does get a little bit more mentally challenging to stay up, but when you've got a good target to work towards it makes it easier," Lane said.

The 30-year-old hasn't exactly been confined to barracks this month, however, with the Caulfield meeting his first back in Australia since embarking on a trip to Japan to ride in the Takarazuka Kinen.

Lane finished down the track on Struve in the Group 1, but he did ride one winner on the trip and considered the excursion a worthwhile one.

"I try to take short working holidays through the season, just to try and keep mentally fresh, because it's a long season when you're working all the way through," Lane said.

"Japan was great. I just rode the three meetings, it was a working holiday and you return fit as well, so it works both ways."

Lane has not given up hope of finding a warm beach somewhere before winter is out, but it will not be until he is certain the premiership is safe.

"I'll make that the focus over the next few weeks, I haven't won one before, so I'll put that at the forefront of my mind for these new few weeks," Lane said.

"It'd be great to have that on my CV, to have my name up against some of the elite riders that have won it before.

"It's not over yet, but I'll keep striving towards it."