Jockey Nick Souquet has temporarily quit racing to help combat his ballooning weight.
Souquet last rode at Berrigan's non-TAB meeting on August 21.
The heavyweight hoop stressed he was not contemplating retirement but simply having a break.
"I've had almost a month off because my weight was getting out of control," Souquet said.
"I'm not thinking about retiring.
"I'm just waiting for my weight to come down a bit and the weather to warm up.
"With COVID I've gone from riding three or four times a week to maybe once or twice a week.
"My metabolism was shot, I could go from 57kg on a Friday to 63kg by Saturday night - it was ridiculous.
"Hopefully it will sort itself out when it warms up."
Souquet has started working at the Woolworth distribution centre at Barnawartha to help keep his weight in check.
"I've been working out at the distribution centre for a couple of weeks now," he said.
"I just wanted to do some physical work every day to help me lose weight.
"With lockdowns and no gyms open it's hard to exercise.
"I don't mind the work and it's something a bit different.
"It helps pay the bills as well until I get back to racing."
Souquet remains one of the most talented jockeys in the Southern District.
But his constant weight battles limit his opportunities and restrict him to riding top-weights with Souquet rarely taking mounts that are less than 57kg.
He hopes to be back in the saddle within a month.
"Once the warmer weather arrives it's always a lot easier to keep the weight off," he said.
"I hope to be back riding within a month, that's the plan anyway."
ALSO IN SPORT
Meanwhile the Mitch Beer-trained Jawwaal has been installed the $2.40-favourite to take out the feature race at Queanbeyan today.
Jawwaal is set to contest the $35,000 TAB Federal Benchmark 75 Hcp, (1200) with Simon Miller booked to ride.
Beer was hopeful Jawwaal could gain a slot in The Kosciuszko and join stablemate Sunrise Ruby in the $1.3-million feature at Randwick next month.
Only three slots remain in the final field of 14-runners.
Jawwaal was entered at Swan Hill last Friday before Beer elected to scratch the gelding.
The son of Snitzel ran the best race of his career two starts back when narrowly beaten at Flemington with Teo Nugent aboard.
Trainer Donna Scott will also target the Queanbeyan feature with recent stable addition Takissacod.
Previously trained by Norm Loy, Takissacod resumes from a 23-week spell with Nick Heywood aboard.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: