Zac Wadick riding a wave of success up north

Apprentice jockey Zac Wadick has been in good form in recent months. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Apprentice jockey Zac Wadick is making his mark on the Mid-North Coast and Northern Rivers. 

Indentured to Taree trainer Glen Milligan, the 20-year-old now has 38 wins to his name and has already booted home 24 victories this season. 

Since late March, he has won races at Port Macquarie, Taree, Lismore, and Grafton, riding doubles at Lismore on April 15 and Taree on Monday, May 1.

Wadick doesn’t believe there is any real secret to his recent success, suggesting that he had learned from his mistakes.  

“I think to realise the mistakes you make in the past is really important,” Wadick said. 

“I’ve made mistakes; we all have, and I was learning, but as your claim dwindles and you start to ride more winners, it’s about minimising those mistakes. 

“For me, it’s just about doing my best and trying to take those opportunities and make the best of them.”

Wadick was born and bred into the racing game, being the son of former jockey and trainer Adam Wadick, and he explained how that led him to his apprenticeship with Mark Newnham. 

“I was born and bred in Western Sydney, and I grew up around horses and have always been around them,” Wadick said. 

“Dad was a jockey in the early 2000s, and he took up breaking in and training down the line, and I always tagged along the whole way.

“When I got old enough, I did my own thing with Mark Newnham, and it’s taken me on a bit of a ride from there.”

Wadick eventually found himself in Taree, and he’s loved the move since teaming up with the Milligan yard. 

“It was a suggestion from Corey Brown, who runs the apprenticeship training program with Racing NSW, and I thought to myself, a suggestion from Corey Brown can’t be a bad one, and he gave that suggestion to my boss, and Mark said it would be a good fit to join Glen, and he sent me on my way,” Wadick said. 

“Eventually, I moved to Taree, where I am now; it’s been a great decision, and I couldn’t be happier.”

The plan was to go back to Newnham, who will soon head to Hong Kong, and while he is still determining where he will end up, Wadick’s focus is on making his mark in the NSW jockey ranks. 

“My goal was always to return to Mark Newnham and pledge my career to him,” Wadick said. 

“He’s taken me a long this far, and I was going to go back to him, but he’s off to Hong Kong,

“Now, I just want to make my own luck in the industry, and I will look to establish myself in the provincial ranks in the near future, but for now, I’ll just try and keep riding winners and establish myself as the top apprentice in the Mid-North Coast and go from there.” 

Milligan can be credited for guiding Wadick in the right direction and giving the young hoop ample opportunities, and he praised the youngster for his willingness to listen and learn. 

“Zac has been with me for 12 months, and he’s going really well,” Milligan said. 

“He had a good start with Mark Newnham and came up here looking for an opportunity.

“He’s listening and learning, and we know they all make mistakes, and that’s why their apprentices and they’ve got a claim, but he’s come on in leaps and bounds the last three months. 

“He’s really switched on, has a lot more patience, and is riding a lot more and getting those rewards.”

Milligan also praised Wadick’s manager, Nathan Daniels, who’s kept busy looking after Wadick and his stable of other country jockeys. 

“Nathan Daniels has been a big help too, and the biggest mistake we made was not getting Nathan to take over until four or five months ago,” Milligan said. 

“You need someone in the bush to manage bush riders, and he does an excellent job with Zac.”

Wadick will get every chance to add more winners to his excellent record in the coming days, with the two-kilogram claimer taking four rides at Coffs Harbour on Friday, six rides at Ballina on Saturday, and four rides at Taree on Monday.

For Coffs Harbour fields, click here.

For Ballina fields, click here.

For Taree fields, click here.