Jamie Osborne fears he may be a gallop or two short by the time he rides in the Vickers.Bet Leger Legends Classified Stakes at Doncaster next week.
Osborne was viewed as one of the most stylish jockeys of his era and enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Oliver Sherwood in the 1990s.
He retired in 1999 and took up training on the Flat, winning the Dewhurst with Milk It Mick and the UAE Derby with Toast Of New York, who went on to be second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Now, though, he has been tempted out of retirement to take part in the long-standing charity event at the St Leger meeting – but he has admitted to having feelings of apprehension.
Osborne told Sky Sports Racing: “I’m not looking forward to it at all! I don’t think I’ve got a lot to gain from it.
“I’m 56 years old and until a couple of weeks ago I hadn’t sat on a racehorse for about 15 years. I certainly hadn’t been in a gym for about 25 or been out of a walk for about 20 so it’s been a bit of an uphill struggle to get to any level of fitness which means I am not going to wobble off!
“I’d say on balance that this race is coming a couple of weeks too soon.”
Osborne is also team manager of league leaders Wales and The West in the Racing League.
Having won the competition last year they are currently on top of the table again with two rounds remaining.
“Last year we were chasing the hare that was Matt Chapman (London and The South) whereas this year we are very much the hare, having started off with a four-timer on the first night,” said Osborne.
“We gave it a proper bit of welly in the first few weeks. I’m lucky that I have plenty of committed trainers but we kind of look like we are running out of well handicapped horses, so I think we are vulnerable now.
“We are not putting out or strongest squad this week so the aim is to just finish the night in front.”