Albany debut for new mature-age apprentice

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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New apprentice Jade McNaught at trials.
Camera IconNew apprentice Jade McNaught at trials.

Mature-age apprentice jockey Jade McNaught will make her race riding debut at Percy Spencer Racecourse as tomorrow’s meeting wraps up the Great Southern racing season.

As the battle for the Great Southern Apprentice Premiership reaches its climax, a new apprentice will join the ranks as her career begins in Albany with three engagements in the seven-race season-ending card.

After a background in equestrian riding, McNaught began riding racehorses last year and took part in her first official barrier trial in late November before gaining her licence to ride in races last week.

The 29-year-old will partner Mighty Quick for trainer Cliff Green in her debut in race two tomorrow before jumping aboard Secret Minx and Queen Tori later in the program.

Based with top metropolitan trainer Trevor Andrews, McNaught said the journey from galloping her first horse to her first ride in a race had been a whirlwind.

“I’ve had a bit of a different path to becoming a jockey,” she said.

“I’ve been riding equestrian all my life and then I rode down at Ascot one day and people were saying ‘why don’t you become a jockey?’.”

“As soon as I first galloped a horse, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

I’d never really had the opportunity but I started around 10 months ago and here I am.”

McNaught, who will ride at comfortably at 50kg, had to be ticked off by apprentice master John Claite, senior riders and Racing and Wagering WA stewards before making her debut.

“I’ve ridden just short of 40 trials and had to get the tick of approval,” she said.

“It’s all come very quickly and getting my gear sorted this week has kept me busy.

“I’m excited to be starting in Albany and then I have four rides in Carnarvon.”

Secret Minx appears a strong winning chance in The Albany Hotel Handicap (1230m) with 58kg from barrier two while Queen Tori will carry 55kg in her attempt at a fourth win this season in the Amity Tavern Handicap (1100m).

In the season awards, Steve Wolfe has already stitched up the Great Southern Trainers’ Premiership but will saddle up eight runners as he looks to extend his tally of 30 winners.

Brodie Kirby is four wins clear of Randy Tan in the apprentice standings while Our Buddy Boy and Queen Tori need a win to level up with Gauged (four wins) in the Horse of the Year title.

With 19.5 wins Shaun McGruddy, who is not riding tomorrow, is well clear of Mitchell Pateman (14) and Kirby (12) in the Jockeys’ Premiership.

The first of seven races tomorrow starts at 1.06pm.

CAMERON NEWBOLD’S ALBANY SELECTIONS

Race 1 Jus Talken

Race 2 Yadreamin’

Race 3 Dr Sykes

Race 4 Secret Minx

Race 5 My Girl Chilly

Race 6 Uptown Funk

Race 7 Diraja Jewel

Best Bet Jus Talken

Value My Girl Chilly

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