Race return on menu for Caviar's Kiwi track rider

AIDAN RODLEY
Last updated 05:00 10/08/2012

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Black Caviar's Kiwi track rider is considering a comeback to race riding.

Patrick Bell, 24, a former New Zealand jockey, says his immediate focus is his role as a track rider for Australia's premier trainer, Peter Moody, but he has revealed a growing desire to return to the saddle on raceday.

"Black Caviar is my No 1 priority at the moment and I want to see that through," Bell said this week.

"That's something you don't want to miss.

"But I'd love to do it. Certainly one of my ambitions is to ride again, especially when you start getting into the spring racing - it makes you want to get back out there and into it.

"It's been in the back of my mind for a good six months now but with Black Caviar being around, it would be hard to leave that to ride raceday."

Bell hasn't ridden since May 2010, soon after which he headed to Melbourne and linked up with Moody.

He rode 122 winners over five years as a jockey, mainly as an apprentice with Grant Searle at Levin and Awapuni.

Bell, who struggled with his riding weight at the end of his last stint as a jockey, has attracted plenty of media attention in Australia through his association with the unbeaten Black Caviar.

Bell accompanied the mare to England and was her strapper when she won the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Though he would get more opportunities as a jockey in New Zealand, Bell said he would probably ride in Australia when the time came for his return.

"The money is better, there's more racing, the weather's better. So if I was to ride and my weight was good I would probably look at riding here before I moved home.

"My weight's at a level where I could look at getting it down over a period of time. I'm walking about 62-63 kilos at the moment, so it's not through the roof."

Bell, who hopes to head home for a holiday in December - after the spring carnival in Victoria - to catch up with his family and friends, said he was unsure whether Black Caviar would race again.

Moody has already ruled out a spring campaign after Black Caviar suffered muscle injuries in England, though he had flagged the possibility of an autumn return.

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