Talented New Zealand jockey Jason Waddell is taking an extended break to get over the loss of his mother which has been compounded by his own ill-health.
“I’ve been struggling to grieve for my Mum and I had health issues and I wasn’t too good after the Australian Derby,” Waddell told NZ Racing Desk.
“I didn’t want to let anybody down so it was best to take a step away.”
Waddell won the Group One New Zealand Derby on the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Vin De Dance and retained the ride when the three-year-old came to the Sydney autumn carnival, finishing fourth in both the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Australian Derby.
He hasn’t ridden since the Australian Derby on April 7.
“My weight wasn’t good and I was taking five or six kilos off to ride Vin De Dance,” Waddell said.
The jockey was was also suffering from kidney stones and a kidney infection.
“After I flew home I pretty much didn’t leave the house for a month, but I’m back riding some work now,” he said.
Waddell will have an overseas holiday before the new season begins in August.
The 32-year-old has ridden 35 winners this season, including seven at Group or Listed level.