It's been more than a year since Colin "Chicka" Pearson made the trip from Bateman's Bay to Canberra to chase that winning feeling, but you can hardly blame him for his absence.
The south coast trainer has a scar almost the length of his back to remind him of a shock melanoma diagnosis, has an injection every month for his battle with prostate cancer and is preparing for an eye operation.
"But it could be a lot worse. Sometimes I get a bit down in the dumps ... but I rode 1024 winners," Pearson said.
"I always say if you've got your health you're a millionaire, and I'm going along all right at the moment so that's the main thing."
Pearson will make his return to Thoroughbred Park on Friday when he brings Shoulder Charge and The Boomerang to the capital.
They will be his first Canberra runners in more than 12 months after restricting his action to south coast meets.
But the rollercoaster ride hasn't dampened his enthusiasm for the racing industry or his desire to win, hoping Shoulder Charge can break through for his fourth win.
The eight-year-old gelding by Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown was trained by Gai Waterhouse before moving to Pearson's stable.
He finished fourth in his last start at Nowra on November 5 but hasn't won a race since May last year.
"I love coming to Canberra, I've got friends up there and they're good horses and getting better," Pearson said.
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"Gai Waterhouse paid $170,000 for Shoulder Charge. We've won $100,000 since he's come over to us.
"I don't know if he's lost the incentive to win, but his work is good. If he doesn't shape up [in Canberra] we'll look into what we do for the future.
"He's a lovely big horse and he can certainly gallop. He just needs to get that confidence back again.
"Boomerang is still growing into himself, he doesn't like tight tracks so that why we've come to Canberra with him."
Pearson was a star jockey in his early years, spending time in Italy and riding more than 1000 winners.
"I've been in racing since I was 11 years old. I've never done anything else - I love it. I'll do it for as long as I can."
Brendan Ward will have the ride on both of Pearson's horses as part of the nine-race card in Canberra.