Young New Zealand jockey Rory Hutchings will be riding at just his second Australian metropolitan meeting in Sydney on Saturday and has been booked to partner the in-form Black Jag in the Sydney Spring Carnival On Sale Now Handicap (1800m) due to the suspension of Serg Lisnyy.
Black Jag has been ridden by Lisnyy in his past four race starts and has found his best form towards the end of what has been a lengthy campaign; taking out the Vinery Stud Handicap (2200m) at Scone on May 17 and the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on June 21 before finishing close seconds in both the TAB Quaddie Handicap (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 5 and the Bob Ingham Handicap (1900m) at the same venue on July 19.
Trainer Chris Waller said that Lisnyy has clearly developed a strong relationship with Black Jag and deserved some credit for the recent form of the Excites gelding, but confirmed that he was happy to have Hutchings on board the talented galloper.
“Black Jag is racing in career best form.
“The distance will be fine and he seems to handle all tracks.
“It is a funny thing horses and jockeys.
“Certain jockeys seem to suit certain jockeys more than others and certain jockeys can really improve horses and give them confidence.
“I think Serg is a good example of that, but we certainly lose no expertise in terms of experience with Rory Hutchings.”
Hutchings is the leading apprentice jockey in New Zealand and he made his metropolitan racing debut at Royal Randwick on July 12, where he partnered four Waller-trained gallopers.
The rising hoop was unable to record a maiden race win in New Zealand and was questioned by stewards about his riding on Reigning in the TAB Rewards Handicap (2000m), but Waller said that he was happy with the way the 19-year-old rode in his first chance of the big stage in Australia.
“He is a very good apprentice,” Waller said.
“He was probably overawed by his first day riding in Sydney and that is a bit harsh, but he didn’t ride bad at all and the only blue he made was on Reigning.
“He sort of did a midrace move, as he needed to and just sort of got there a bit too quick.”
Hutchings has also been booked to ride Mamwaazel in the Inglis Bonus Handicap (1400m), News Alert in The July Sprint (1150m) and You’ll Never in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1400m).