UK apprentice Joshua Bryan is following in the footsteps of Oisin Murphy and Kieran Shoemark with a riding stint in Melbourne with trainer Danny O’Brien during the Australian summer.
Murphy and Shoemark were indentured to Andrew Balding in England and had Melbourne stints with the O’Brien stable during the northern hemisphere winter.
Murphy made a big impression in the summer of 2013/14 while Shoemark came to Victoria the following two summers.
Bryan is the latest youngster from Balding’s stable to make the trip and had his first ride for O’Brien at Yarra Valley on Saturday.
The teenager makes his Melbourne metropolitan debut at Sandown on Wednesday on the O’Brien-trained My Psychiatrist in an 1800m race.
“He (Balding) has always got some of the better apprentices in the UK and he thought Josh would be a good fit to come down here and get some experience,” O’Brien said.
“He’s a really nice young man and he’s a very good rider.
“He’s basically only done trackwork and trials (since he arrived) and he rode one on Saturday for us at Yarra Valley.
“He’s very strong.
“These UK apprentices, they really know how to pick the horse up and make them finish off.”
Bryan is scheduled to stay with the O’Brien stable until early January.
“They seem to get a lot out of it and I think it’s a good thing for everyone,” O’Brien said.
The Flemington trainer said Murphy and Shoemark both made an impact during their stays but more importantly had gone on to make their mark after returning home.
“Oisin is now one of the top riders over there and Kieran nearly won the apprentices’ title this year,” O’Brien said.
“They both rode a winner at the Royal Ascot meeting this year, so they’ve definitely gone on and established themselves as very good riders back home.
“Hopefully the same thing can happen for Josh.”
Bryan will be one of the new faces in the Sandown jockeys’ room on Wednesday along with Perth apprentice Fred Kersley who makes his Victorian debut with four rides, including two for Lindsay Park.
Japanese apprentice Ryusei Sakai, who is on a six-month stint with the Leon and Troy Corstens stable, was booked for one ride on Wednesday but his mount has been scratched.