Some much-needed help is on the way as the northern jockeys' ranks find themselves going through huge turmoil.
Leading Canterbury apprentice Kozzi Asano is intending to move to Matamata to join the Andrew Scott-Lance O'Sullivan stable, hoping to learn some of the subtleties of the saddle from former champion jockey O'Sullivan.
And his move couldn't have come at a better time, with so many big names injured, suspended or even retiring.
The unheralded Asano almost pulled off the biggest upset of last season's Covid-shortened season when he jumped to a huge lead in the national jockeys' premiership only to be overhauled by the relentless Lisa Allpress.
He still finished the season second with 78 wins and sits in the top 10 on the premiership this term, a race being completely and quite stunningly dominated by Danielle Johnson.
"I think the move north will be good for me," says Asano, who is apprentice to Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston.
His application for the transferral of his apprenticeship has yet to be lodged but is expected with NZTR today.
"The main factor is being able to learn about riding from Lance O'Sullivan. He is a legend of a jockey and that has to be good for me."
Asano says he will see how the proposed stint goes in the north before deciding on his future, but he will be sought after, as the northern ranks have been savaged.
The highest-profile loss is the mercurial Jason Waddell, who was second only to Opie Bosson in black type wins last season but who says his career may be over.
Waddell expects to find out this week the outcome of charges of failing to supply a urine sample for a drug test when asked at a Te Rapa trials meeting and could face a long suspension or even disqualification.
But the enormously-talented rider says he is retired from the saddle regardless of the outcome.
"No matter what happens, I am done," Waddell told the Herald.
"I have achieved almost everything I wanted in the saddle, so that part of my life is over."
Already fellow senior rider Cameron Lammas has been handed a 10-month disqualification for a positive drug test.
And another leading rider, Sam Spratt, is facing at least a few more weeks on the sidelines after being injured at the trials last month.
Promising apprentice Chelsea Burdan fears she could be out of the saddle for six to nine months after she broke her collarbone in a race fall at Waverley two weeks ago, with an operation scheduled for December 11.
Central districts rider Robert Hannam is out with a broken leg, but there is some good news around Rosie Myers, who suffered head injuries in a trials fall on October 6.
Husband William Fell says Myers is progressing through her physical rehab and there are hopes she can return home soon.
"But most importantly, her cognitive skills seem fine, so we are very lucky," says Fell.
And of course one of the modern-day greats of the saddle in Michael Coleman has retired after a freak trials day accident, a huge loss of experience and talent from the jockeys' room.
Adding to the squeeze on the jockeys' ranks has been a slew of suspensions which leave trainers scrambling for senior riders.
As of today, Opie Bosson, Chad Ormsby, Troy Harris, Taiki Yanagida, Sam Weatherley and Jonathan Parkes are suspended, although Parkes, Yanagida and Bosson all return this week.
Even the Magic Man, Chris Johnson, has been suspended until after racing on December 10, meaning his charge to become New Zealand's most successful domestic jockey has slowed to a crawl.
He sits one behind record holder David Walsh's 2451 and his next day's riding is likely to be at Ascot Park in Invercargill on December 12, where two wins would give him sole ownership of the record.
On the positive side, the northern ranks have had other boosts with the return of Vinnie Colgan and Michael McNab, with both in good form.
McNab looks bright and focused and has ridden 25 winners from just 144 rides, a strike rate of 5.76, with three black type wins.
He is bound to be sought after come carnival time, especially as the Covid-19 quarantine restrictions will mean no working holiday this year for the likes of James McDonald, who dominated the Ellerslie Christmas carnival last season.