GROUP 1 winner Darryl McLellan will complete an amazing comeback to the top level when he pilots Scone-trained Never Listen in the $1 million VRC Oaks (2500m) on Thursday at Flemington.
McLellan returned to race riding in August 2017 in Queensland after almost six years out of the saddle following a fall at Newcastle on Boxing Day 2011.
After regaining his NSW licence, the Newcastle jockey returned home last year and he has been steadily rebuilding his career.
McLellan, who won group 1s with Magic Of Money in the 1995 The Galaxy and on Henderson Bay in the 2002 Sydney Cup, will ride Never Listen for trainer John Ramsey from gate five on Thursday.
Never Listen has had two wins, both at Scone, in nine starts. McLellan rode her to an eight-length victory last start over 2200m to confirm an Oaks shot and Ramsey was sticking with the hoop.
"He's done the job and he knows the horse," Ramsey said.
"He used to ride in the big races, so he's been there before and he knows what I'm talking about, too. We've got a good combination going."
The race will be the biggest of Ramsey's training career.
"I always thought she'd stay a trip so I thought I'd have a crack at them," he said. "I always thought she'd make a stayer and an Oaks horse and here we are. As long as we travel right, we'll be in the money, we'll be giving them some. They will know we are there anyway."
Amazing Peace, for Newcastle trainer Paul Perry, has barrier two for the Oaks and Nash Rawiller to ride.