On the brink of claiming his second Sydney premiership, jockey Hugh Bowman is looking forward to entering what he believes will be the peak period of his career.
Bowman won his first Sydney jockeys' title three years ago and is set to wrestle it back off dual winner Nash Rawiller with a 16-1/2 win lead heading into the final month of the season.
Ahead of his 32nd birthday this month, Bowman says with added maturity and experience now under his belt, the best is definitely still ahead of him.
"I remember when I was about 24 and thinking I want to be on level terms with the Beadmans and the Munces and the Olivers and Cassidys and what have you," Bowman said.
"Paddy Payne at the time was riding in all the big carnivals, getting the choice weight for age horses, and I was thinking, 'when can I expect this to happen to me, if ever?' And I sort of set my goal at 33 (years old).
"I just reckon that's a good age because you are old enough to have the miles under your belt but you've still got youth on your side.
"So I reckon 33 to 40 depending on how hard you want to work."
Bowman is striving to reach 100 Sydney winners in a season for the first time in his career and a victory at Rosehill on Saturday took him to within 13-1/2 wins of the milestone.
His season has netted four Group Ones including his second Victoria Derby on Sangster and a successful association with the Guy Walter-trained Streama who claimed victories in the Flight Stakes and Australian Oaks at Randwick.
The jockey is excited to reunite with Streama in the spring.
"She'll go to the Myer Classic and that's her go," he said.
"Her best win was the Flight Stakes. She was just dominant that day. We've seen how convincing she is over the shorter trips and Sea Siren has come out and franked the form of her first and second-up runs so I think that's a pretty good guide."
Sea Siren and Streama traded narrow wins in the Light Fingers Stakes and Surround Stakes in the Sydney autumn before going on separate paths.
Streama won the Oaks later that campaign while Sea Siren was set for the Brisbane winter and won the Group One BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000 at weight for age.