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After a four years self-imposed hiatus from race riding, Rockhampton’s Adrian Coome makes his comeback at the Girls Grammar race meeting at Callaghan Park on Saturday.
The 32-year-old retired from riding in August, 2018 and worked at the mines in Central Queensland for almost a year before turning his hand to training in Rockhampton in late 2019.
He became something of an overnight success winning the 2020/21 Rockhampton trainers' premiership.
As a jockey, Adrian was a multiple winner of the RJC jockey's premiership, during which time he won three Rockhampton Cups as well as the 2013 and 2014 Newmarkets on Our Boy Malachi.
"It was a real struggle with my weight which brought about my departure from race riding and my body was suffering. I still ride a stack of trackwork which I have maintained as a trainer," Coome said.
During his absence from the jockeys' room, he said the itch to get back riding never left him.
"Around about the time of The Archer in early May, I really started to think seriously about getting back into it and started to get my weight down," he said.
"I got up to about 80kg in my early days of training but I'd gradually got it down this year. I was about 70kg when I got real fair dinkum a few months ago."
Coome's weight plunged by removing anything containing sugar from the diet.
Coome now holds a dual licence, and will take two rides for his own stable this weekend in Srini and Cavellton.
"I've only got myself to blame if they are ridden poorly," he laughed.
Pushed as to what really motivated him to get back race riding Adrian gave a surprise answer.
"I'm not comfortable sitting on 976 winners. It's not a good number," he said.
As Coome gradually gets his weight down to he hopes about 57kg, he believes he will get over the 1000 winners mark in the not-too-distant future.
His winners to date have included 33 at Brisbane metropolitan tracks while Callaghan Park became his second home having ridden 331 winners on the Rockhampton surface.
Saturday is the first day of Rockhampton's Winter Racing Carnival, which culminates with the running of the $150,000 BFB Scaffolding Rockhampton Cup on Saturday, July 9.
Coome is looking for a fourth Rockhampton Cup winner, and even a third Latter Kennedy Rockhampton Newmarket on July 8.