Chris Waller is giving apprentice jockey Rory Hutchings every chance to build on a timely breakthrough for Sydney’s premier stable.
Four of Hutchings’ six rides at Warwick Farm on Wednesday are on Waller-trained horses and they come as he celebrates a Hawkesbury Gold Cup win on Amovatio for the leading trainer.
Waller said Saturday’s Group Three success could be a pivotal moment in Hutchings’ career as the ex-New Zealand rider prepared to move into the senior jockeys’ ranks next month.
“He’s found the transition (to Sydney) difficult because it’s just another whole tier of professionalism here in Sydney,” Waller said.
“(It’s all about) keeping your horses straight, keeping an eye on your weight and he is just starting to nail it now.
“In Sydney, apprentices, if they are not seen, they are forgotten.”
Hutchings leads the Sydney junior riders’ title from Winona Costin, last year’s champion apprentice who has just returned to the saddle after an injury-enforced break.
He is five wins clear of Costin but he is favoured to at least maintain his lead when he rides the Waller-trained Harlem Lady in the TAB More Than Just Winning Handicap.
Harlem Lady is the early favourite as the mare has her first start since a minor placing at Canterbury in December.
Bookmakers expect her to reproduce the first-up form from that campaign when she won over 1200m at Rosehill despite missing the start with Hutchings as her jockey.
Costin will make a low-key return to city racing.
Her two rides – Divajeu and Fly Till Dawn – are given only outside chances of figuring.
Peter and Paul Snowden will have one of the warmest favourites for the midweek meeting with Faith’s Encore on debut in the All Too Hard Handicap.
Faith’s Encore looked above average in a Randwick barrier trial when the two-year-old had the 1045m heat won at the 200m before Kerrin McEvoy allowed her to finish off under her own steam.