The decision to move north presented several challenges but Cartwright took aim at the stable where she wanted to be and, once there, she has been given every opportunity to show her worth.
Five wins from her last nine rides … including four winners last Saturday, three in Brisbane and one in Toowoomba, tells the story of Cartwright’s rapid progress as does her overall score of eight wins from thirty rides since she came out of quarantine in Brisbane to start this new phase of her career.
Cartwright takes up the story.
“I’ve been out of quarantine for a month and I am starting to settle now,” said Cartwright.
“Obviously, it is a little bit different here to what I am used to in Victoria. In Victoria it is a lot busier. They race a lot more. They race seven days a week whereas, here, I’m riding about two or three times a week at the moment.
“I had to make that adjustment to wind down a bit. It’s a lot more relaxed here. It took me a while to get used to it.
“I am at trackwork and starting to get to know everyone … and I’m also starting to know all of the horses,” continued Cartwright, “and Tony Gollan has helped me. He has been really great since I’ve been here.”
“Settling into the new stable environment was also an adjustment. Tony Gollan’s stable is obviously the biggest up here.
“I was at Henry Dwyer before. He has also got quite a good sized stable down in Victoria, but Tony’s stable is probably double the size … so it probably took me a bit longer to know the individual horses than it would normally have, but I feel that after a month now I am starting to really get the hang of each horse and how they sort of go in trackwork and how they like to race.
“Also, obviously in Victoria I already knew a lot of the horses without having to do much form whereas, when I arrived here, I was not familiar with a lot of horses so I needed to get up to speed with that.”
How did the move to the Gollan yard come about?
“I was looking to come up here for three months to finish my apprenticeship,” said Cartwright.
“Obviously, it was going to be very costly for me because I had to do hotel quarantine … and, of course, the moving costs.
“I thought, if I came up to Queensland, I really wanted to be with a stable that supports me. Tony has the biggest stable and plenty of horses and he gives his apprentices a good go, so I was very persistent in my approach to him.
“We played phone tennis at first. I’d call him and not get hold of him … and then he would call me and I would miss the call, so it took a couple of weeks to get things going. Once we had made direct contact with each other I only had three days in which to leave and I left within the three days.
“All of that just shows how keen I was to come up to Queensland and be a part of his stable.”
A month into her new professional arrangement … how does the future look at this stage?
“My apprenticeship ends in December. I tried to apply for an extension, but unfortunately I got knocked back,” said Cartwright.
“I’m going to try to make the most of what is left of my apprenticeship and try to build up my connections with the owners and the trainers so that I can set myself up for when I become a senior rider.”
So, is staying in Queensland the top of the list of options at the moment?
“I came here with an open mind and thought I would give it three months and see how I go. I thought that if I decide to go back to Melbourne that would be fine … but I also thought if I really liked it I would be more than happy to stay,” answered Cartwright.
“Once I am getting closer to the end of the three months, I will reassess my position. I’ll just see how I am going and work it out from there.”
And the success on Saturday must have been a real confidence booster?!
“Saturday was a great day. I’ve never ridden four winners in a day so, yeah, it was a really good day.”
Cartwright’s weekend winners were Sugar Boom ($2.10), Seeingisbelieving ($6.50), Royal Hale ($4.00) … all at Doomben, all for Tony Gollan … and Forever Volo ($41) at Toowoomba for trainer Philip Cox.
And remember, Cartwright is only just settling in!