Ryan Wiggins will take the memory of trainer Guy Walter with him when he partners Famous Seamus in the Group 1 $650,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben today.
Wiggins is searching for his second Group 1 success after winning the $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben two weeks on the Noel Mayfield-Smith trainer Famous Seamus.
But Wiggins said he wouldn’t be in this position if the ever popular Walter, who died suddenly during the week, hadn’t taken him under his wing and offered some career saving advice.
“Guy was one of the first trainers to start putting me on horses in town,” Wiggins told The Courier-Mail.
“I expected things to happen for me in Sydney straight away and when they didn’t I wanted to go back home.
“Guy pulled me aside and said I should put my head down, stick it out and see how I went.
“He said I was better off staying and working hard and he promised me I’d be OK.
“His death has hit everyone pretty hard. He is one of those guys that everyone liked.
“I will never know what would have happened to me if he didn’t have that chat to me.”
After riding in and around Sydney for several years, Wiggins decided to move to Brisbane in 2009 and as he developed his strong work ethic, became one of the most seen riders at trackwork at Eagle Farm.
“I put my head down and I started riding trackwork for the Brisbane trainers, pretty much every single one of them,” Wiggins said.
“I set myself a goal to start riding at the races on a certain day in 2009. I had seven rides at Ipswich on that day and my first one won.
“I got interviewed by (SKY Racing commentator) Larry Olsen and everything really kicked on from there.”
Wiggins has five rides on the nine race program at Doomben today and as well as Famous Seamus will team up again with last start winners Magic In Motion for leading trainer Robert Heathcote in the Group 3 $150,000 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) and Pretty Pins for trainer John Thompson in the Group 3 $125,000 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup (2200m).
He will also team up with Heathcote with Schillacking in the Listed $100,000 Nuturf Queensland Day (1200m) and will ride Veewap for trainer Brian Smith in the $50,000 Ambassador Travel BenchMark 90 Handicap (1350m).