It’s been tough going at times, but apprentice Rory Hutchings has been rewarded for his hard work with a milestone day at Rosehill.
Hutchings claimed a double on Saturday to outride his claim and tighten his vice-like grip on the Sydney apprentices’ title.
The three junior premierships he won in New Zealand meant little when Hutchings came to Australia to try to make it in Sydney.
In between suspensions for weight issues and careless riding, Hutchings admitted he thought it might all be too hard.
But with his master Chris Waller helping him out with a health and fitness regime and rewarding him with rides, the 21-year-old is now enjoying life.
“It’s a relief more than anything,” Hutchings said after he brought up his 80th metropolitan win on the Waller-trained Tsaritsa in the Pat Hyland Handicap (1400m).
“I’ve been given great opportunities.”
Hutchings presents for a weigh-in every morning at the Waller stable to make sure he doesn’t cop any more suspensions for not being able to make the weight.
Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth is also Hutchings’ riding agent and says he will be keeping a close eye on his charge.
He is also keen for Hutchings to spread his wings further than Rosehill.
“Rory will be riding out for Gai and John Sargent at Randwick on Monday,” Duckworth said.
“We are keen to get him out to a few more stables.”
Hutchings’ other winner was also for Waller aboard Dance Of Heroes in the 2000m race on the program.
His season tally now stands at 27 Sydney wins with reigning premier apprentice Winona Costin on 16 and being challenged for second by Samantha Clenton and Andrew Adkins on 14.
Although he can no longer claim, Hutchings has until June 14 to increase his lead.
“I’ve still got three or four weeks until I’m out of my time so hopefully I can build on the total and keep the momentum going,” he said.