Preparing to ride one of the chances in Sydney's richest spring race on Saturday is a far better outcome for Peter Robl compared to where his career was at this time last year.
Robl was still serving a 12-month disqualification for betting on races when he watched Manawanui win last year's $1 million Group One Golden Rose (1400m) from his lounge room.
Robl has made a successful comeback and is quietly confident about his chances on the Anthony Cummings-trained Your Song in the Rosehill feature.
"I would have been at home on the couch watching the race last year," Robl said.
"I can guarantee you it's a much better feeling being in the race this year."
Robl has exceeded all his expectations since making his return in late November and believes Your Song is an ideal type for the Golden Rose.
"He's got good gate speed, he's happy to relax where you put him in a race and then he's got that turn of foot when you ask for an effort," he said.
"He's pretty much a bombproof ride."
Your Song highlighted his credentials with his second to superstar colt Pierro over 1200m two weeks ago, beating home Golden Rose rivals Epaulette, Ninth Legion and Ashokan.
"He went into that race off one soft trial on the Tuesday before, so for him to run second was enormous and he's come on and improved since," Robl said.
Robl had the choice between Your Song and stablemate Ninth Legion heading into their last start, and is more than happy with his decision.
Your Song will wear blinkers on Saturday.
"We thought they might just make him focus and the couple of gallops he's had in them, they've definitely done the job," he said.
Your Song has a wide gate in barrier nine but Robl expects the colt to have enough speed to cross into a position in the first four.
He rates the favourites Nechita and Kabayan as the horses to beat.
"The only negative with Nechita is that she'll be spotting me a start, even though she's a very good filly," Robl said.
Meanwhile, late-entry runner Shamexpress will figure in a change of riding tactics.
Melbourne trainer Danny O'Brien has told stewards he will instruct jockey Corey Brown to try to find a forward spot in the race.
As a back-up plan if the colt is left posted, O'Brien said he would be happy if Shamexpress pressed on to race outside the leader.