Zac Wadick continues rise through the ranks with Provincial qualifier win

Zac Wadick pumped his fist as he guided the Brad Widdup-trained Ruby Flyer to victory in the $150,000 Provincial-Midway Championships heat at Kembla Grange on Saturday. Image: Bradley Photos.

Since progressing from Glen Milligan’s country stable in Taree to Brad Widdup’s provincial team in Hawkesbury, Zac Wadick has continued to notch up wins. 

With 103 victories to his name, including 50 in the first eight months of the 2023/24 season, the 21-year-old is in fabulous form, having won on 11 of his past 50 rides.

Following up a double at Newcastle on Friday, Wadick booted home another double at Kembla Grange on Saturday and won the biggest race of his career. 

Teaming up with his master Brad Widdup, who scored a winning treble on the program, Wadick guided Ruby Flyer ($19) to a thrilling half-length win in the $150,000 Provincial-Midway Qualifier (1400m). 

The win means the five-year-old has qualified for the $1 million Provincial-Midway Championship final at Royal Randwick on April 13.

“It was a really good result for me and also for Brad and the whole team,” Wadick told NSW Country and Picnic Racing. 

“I’m over the moon; it’s just a great result for everyone involved.”

Widdup, who’s in career-best form, training 17 winners from his past 50 starters, qualified Short Shorts for the same final after triumphing in the Hawkesbury qualifier on March 9. 

On that occasion, Alysha Collett rode the five-year-old Iffraaj mare to victory, and Wadick said not being in the saddle lit a fire inside him. 

“We got Short Shorts in a couple of weeks ago at the home track and had four winners that day, so it’s been a really good run,” Wadick said. 

“It was a great ride by Alysha on Short Shorts to get the horse in the final, and she deserved it, but to be honest, I wish I was in that position. 

“You always want to ride for the stable in those races, so I was over the moon to get the opportunity on Ruby (Flyer) and to get that result for the stable; it couldn’t have worked out any better.”

With a level head on his shoulders and good people behind him, Wadick has been thriving in the right environments.

Milligan gave him a good education, which has continued under Widdup’s keen eye, and the sky is the limit for the young apprentice. 

“I think I’ve been surrounded by the right people my entire career,” Wadick said. 

“I’ve had that good education, and being up at Taree, with how I was brought up there, I developed a lot as a rider.

“Then my riding has improved a lot. Mix that with the move down to Brad’s and the higher-quality horses I am getting on, not only for Brad but also for other trainers. 

“Michael Freedman, for example, has been supporting me and has put me on a few decent horses that have been winning by big margins, so it’s been a good recipe for success.” 

Wadick will now have to wait and see if he lands the ride on Ruby Flyer in the $1 million final, but he said he was happy to wear whatever decision Widdup and his owners make.