FORMER top Western District jockey Neville Wilson is on the verge of being granted a trainer's permit from Racing Victoria after nearly 60 years in the racing industry.
Wilson, 73, held an assistant trainer's licence to his staunchest supporter and best mate Geoff Daffy until the Camperdown trainer passed away suddenly in February this year.
The former president of the Victorian Jockeys Association said he was keen to retain an interest in racing.
"I'm like everyone else I never saw what happened to Geoff coming," Wilson said.
"My plan was to stay as an assistant trainer to Geoff.
"We were mates for more than 50 years and had a wonderful association, firstly as a trainer-jockey combination and then when I was the assistant trainer but with his untimely passing I thought I might give training a go.
"I've received great support from Geoff's family and my own family regarding getting my trainer's permit.
"I'm not going to have a big team of horses, I'll only have a couple in work for family and friends. "
Wilson said the industry remained a big part of his life.
"Racing has been my life I was 14 years old when I started working in the stables as a strapper before becoming an apprentice jockey and then a senior jockey," he said.
Wilson, who was the first Victorian-based jockey to ride 2000 winners in his career, ended up booting home 2078 winners from more than 20,000 rides before retiring from the saddle in September 2012.
Racing Victoria's licensing sub-committee will meet soon to discuss Wilson's application before it's ratified by the RV board.