Apprentices shine at Nowra

Apprentice jockeys Nicholas Hyde and Zac Wadick after their maiden victories at Nowra on Friday. Photo: Bradley Photos.

It was a big day for apprentice jockeys at Nowra on Friday, with two up-and-coming hoops landing their first career victories.

Nicholas Hyde, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday on Friday, was given the ultimate present when guiding Cheap Charlie to victory in the third event on the card, the 1100m Maiden Plate. 

It was the Dubbo products ninth career ride, and he was rewarded for his patience, getting the win for boss, Brett Lazzarini.

“It’s finally come, and it’s been a long time coming,” Hyde said.

The youngster was a little surprised by how well his 20/1 winner went when breaking down his career-defining ride.

“From the get-go, he just couldn’t quite seem to muster that speed to go with them early, so I just let him fall into his rhythm, and with the kick back that we were getting out there, he was just never travelling,” Hyde said.

“So, I got out away from where the footprints where and when I got him out there, he just started to travel and I thought the leader got away a little bit too much on me for him to pick him up but when we straightened up and balanced, I thought, ‘he’s in my sights here’.

“I just knuckled down and went to the task on him, and then I changed the hands at about the 200m mark with the whip and that’s when he really rocketed to the line.

“He is the type of horse in his track work that he doesn’t give you the feel like he is going to sprint like he did today, and today, I was very, very surprised with him.”

Hyde, who is the son of Dubbo trainer Darren Hyde, kicked off his riding career back on May 2, riding Delude for Lazzarini and he explained how he ended up working for the Kembla Grange stable.

“Well, with the Coronavirus, when it kicked off when I was over at home, people found it quite hard with the way restrictions ended up and with businesses shutting down and with the country trainers, our owners, they need business and that,” Hyde said.

“Without business, they couldn’t provide training fees, so they had to get out of the horses, and with them getting out of the horses, we had to get rid of them and we lost a few.

“Me and dad had a bit of a talk about it, and I said, while I’m still young, I will probably get out and go and have a look down in the Sydney area.

“I ended up with Theresa Bateup to start off with and then built a connection with Brett and he gave me the opportunity to be an apprentice, something I’ve always wanted to do, and he signed me up and away we went and that’s how I ended up with Brett.”

Following Hyde’s victory in the third at Nowra, Zac Wadick rode his first career victory in the sixth race, the 1100m Benchmark 66 Handicap.

Wadick guided the Mark Newnham trained Formeinaway to a good win, which turned out to be a special day for the family, with his mother strapping the Newnham runner and legging Wadick up before the race.

“It couldn’t be any better to get the win for the boss Mark Newnham but also for mum, who was strapping the horse,” Wadick said.

“It’s good, a great feeling to finally get the win.”

The 18-year-old, who was only riding in his ninth race, broke down his victory down and explained the awesome feeling following the momentous occasion.

“I mean, there is no feeling like it. At the top of the straight, I thought I put enough on them for him to keep going and when he kept going and going and going, the line got closer and the feeling got better,” Wadick said. 

“There is no feeling like it.”

The young hoop thanked his boss Mark Newnham for the opportunities to date.

“Every horse he has put me on, he has given me a good chance,” Newnham said.

“Unfortunately, there was some disappointing results, but he continues to give me opportunities and I’m grateful for it.

“I started with Mark nearly two years ago, and I’ve been working my way up through there and he has given me a great opportunity and we are here now, so it’s good to be here.”