Michael Walker stands on the precipice of riding 100 winners in a season in Australia for the first time, reports racing.com.

With 98 winners to his name for the current season, the three-time premiership-winning hoop in New Zealand reached a zenith in his homeland with his record breaking 2007-2008 season where he was successful 172 times.

This is Walker’s second venture to Australia and with the support of leading trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig he appears to be settled in his adopted country for the long haul.

“At the start of the season I set myself a goal of 100 winners which I felt was a realistic goal,” he said.

“It’s been a big season for me work-wise, I’ve had to travel (and) I’ve had to do the trackwork at Euroa, (so) I’ve had a big year and come August 1st I’m heading off for a holiday.”

As one of the hardest-working jockeys in the state, Walker has to carefully manage the toil riding takes on his body. Slight in stature - even for a jockey - Walker sticks to a rigourous routine to remain in peak condition.

“It’s getting a little bit harder as I get older with my weight, I’m not a natural lightweight,” he said.

“To be able to ride under 56 (kg) I have to train every day.

“I live just across the road from the beach (so) I do all of my training at the St Kilda Sea Baths and then I’m out in the water.

“Peter Moody used to take Black Caviar into the water.

“My body I have to let it settle, let it recover on the off days I don’t ride, (so) I might go for a little walk and have a protein shake to put the goodness back into my muscles but I can’t overdo it as the next day I’m back into it.

“You have blokes like Dean Yendall who’s obviously in front of me on the overall premiership, I mean a bloke like him can get up and eat breakfast whereas someone like me has to get up and go to the gym and sit in the sauna.

WATCH: Michael Walker and Wawail win the Group 2 Kewney Stakes




“It’s really hard for me, and my body has taken a fair bit of a battering each season, I’d love to be in Dean Yendall’s shoes and wake up before a race meeting and have breakfast.”

Although he feels he is riding in career-best form, Walker understands professional athletes have a limited career, more so for jockeys who have to endure one of the hardest lifestyles of any sportsperson.

Walker has averaged close to 670 rides per year on top of his trackwork, trial and jumpout duties and is keen to swap the saddle for a pair of binoculars and a stop watch when the time is right.

“I’ll ride as long as my body holds up, I’ve had two operations on my hip, last December I was supposed to have a replacement but I turned it down as I was going so good,” he said.

“When I first ever started riding horses I actually got into it as I wanted to be a horse trainer, so one day (I will).

“I get so much knowledge out of people I ride for its amazing, I’ve seen some amazing trainers around the world.

“You can take different things out of their book the way they do it and maybe one day I’d like to be a horse trainer.”

The 30-year-old is well aware of the troughs racing provides but it is the peaks that keep pushing him forward every day.

“The highlight this year obviously, the Group 1 on Spillway for David and Tom, it means a lot to me especially as it was Tom Dabernig‘s first Group 1 winner,” he said of his own maiden Group 1 in Victoria.

“David has had a lot of Group 1s but for me personally to get the first for Tom was a huge thrill.”