Apprentice jockey Casey Waddell is loving life in Australia, and on Monday, the talented hoop added the Denman Cup to her growing list of race wins since arriving here from New Zealand.
Riding the Ian Cook trained Rexx, Waddell gave the six-year-old a soft sit in front before kicking away in the home straight to win the Muswellbrook Race Club’s $37,000 feature event by two lengths from War Cat and Kateru.
“I had just come off a week suspension and I took a week off, so it made me really happy to be back and riding a winner,” Waddell said.
“He (Rexx) was travelling along so beautifully in the run, and he did lead well.
“When coming around the corner, I could hear a couple coming up and I asked a little from him and he kicked and that’s when I knew he was the winner.”
Rexx started the $4.80 third favourite in the event and Waddell was always confident she was on the right horse.
“It wasn’t an overly big field, but that’s not to say it wasn’t overly strong; I thought it was a hard little race,” Waddell said.
“When I mapped out the race for Rexx, I thought it worked out perfectly for him. He is an out and out leader and I knew we would get a soft run with no pressure and that’s just how it turned out.”
The 24-year-old’s victory in the Denman Cup further highlights a tremendous start to her Australian career, with Waddell riding winners left, right and centre since joining forces with Tamworth trainer, Sue Grills.
“Since I have been in Australia, I’ve ridden 50 winners, which I never expected,” Waddell said.
“I am really enjoying it over here. All the support from all my trainers has been good and especially now I’m with Sue Grills, I’m not really looking back.”
Waddell was loving the extra opportunities too, explaining that riding in Australia was far different to riding in New Zealand.
“I absolutely love it. I think there are a lot more opportunities over here as there is more racing during the week and you are racing all the time, which improves your riding,” Waddell said.
“Back home, I might be riding once or twice a week and over here, I could be riding for five or six days in a row before I get a day off and I love that.
“It means, every time I go out, I can fix something up, or improve on something and that is important to me.”
The Tamworth based jockey could be in for a big couple of days following her success in Muswellbrook’s Denman Cup, riding at Port Macquarie on Saturday before venturing to Coonamble on Sunday, taking rides in the Coonamble Cup and Crystal Sprint.