Champion jockey Lisa Allpress is counting down to her return to serious business.
The Whanganui rider has made a quicker than anticipated recovery from a serious leg injury that in October cut short her riding stint in Japan.
"I'm hoping to be back on the first weekend of February at Te Rapa," Allpress said.
The Waikato meeting on February 4 will feature the group two Darci Brahma Waikato Guineas with the group one Herbie Dyke Stakes to follow a week later.
"With a bit of luck I might secure some decent rides on those group days," Allpress said.
The 41-year-old has yet to secure a clearance to resume her career and she isn't anticipating any problem.
"I have to see the doctor on the second of February, but I'm feeling pretty good."
Allpress was in her second riding spell in Japan when she suffered a broken tibia after parting company with a two-year-old on their way to the barrier.
"Initially, they said I would be out for four to six months and it's been three months this week," she said.
"I've done a couple of days of track work at Whanganui and one at Waverley and I rode some work for John Bary at Hastings when we were over there." Allpress is the reigning champion jockey after an outstanding 2015-16 season that was rewarded with 171 winners.
?Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh rates his debut runner Savapak (race two) as one of his best chances of success at the Rotorua meeting today.
"He goes pretty well and he trialled up nicely," he said.
Savapak won at the Te Awamutu trials last month in the hands of Danielle Johnson, who will return from suspension to partner the colt, while stablemate Longford (race four) is also tipped to show improvement.
"He's going a lot better than his form might suggest," Marsh said.
- NZ Racing Desk