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Gary Stevens Press Conference Notes

Gary Stevens: Jockey - Dullahan (Dubai World Cup) and Little Mike (Dubai Duty Free)

On his comeback-
I was away from the track for seven years. People ask why I came back and the answer is because I could. Deep down in my heart I always thought I might. I gave away a lot of my stuff to charities and so on, but I kept my riding equipment and I guess that was why.

I talked to a lot of people before I made the decision. I have a mother who is 74, and a three and a half year old daughter, so it required thinking about. My mother can listen to me ride but she cant bear to watch. Its tough too on my wife, but she backs me 100 per cent because she knew it was something I was missing in my life.

As a jockey you know its not a question of if, but when you have a fall. I know that and I accept that is part of it all.

On his physical condition -
I knew Id have to come back stronger and fitter than I was when I was riding that season in France for Andre Fabre (2005), when I was in a lot of pain with my knees. But time is a great healer. Im in better physical shape now than I was five years before I retired. I hit the gym regularly, Im in good shape now. I didnt want to come back a shadow of myself.

I wish I was as strong as I was between the ages of 25 and 33, but Im not. But I have more experience, and I hope that with experience comes wisdom and that is a compensating factor. But if it comes down to the final two hundred Ill match anyone I love a battle!

On Saturday -
I am lucky to be going into Saturday with two live chances. US horses have had no success since the switch from Nad Al Sheba dirt course to the synthetic surface at Meydan. But in the Dubai World Cup Dullahan is a specialist on a synthetic surface, with three wins back home on it including the Pacific Classic. His only defeat was his prep run here at Meydan, where he needed the race, and where things through no fault of his jockey that day didnt go right for him. Dullahan has a great finish over the final 600, and my job is to put him in the right place in the race to produce that.

With Little Mike, hes best on turf, although his last run was on the synthetic here at Meydan, so thats what hes going back to in the Dubai Duty Free. The trainer (Dale Romans) has said hell go from the front, and that will be Plan A. But you never know how these things work out, or if someone else wants the lead or something. Ill have a plan B,C D and E, and Ill ride him accordingly."