Trainer John Sadler has seen a number of good apprentices over the years rise quickly through the ranks only to get lost in the tough world of racing.
Sadler has watched Teo Nugent, indentured to fellow Caulfield trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, make a name for himself on the country circuit.
Nugent has recently graduated to city ranks and rode a double at Caulfield on Saturday, including the Sadler-trained Asgard Massif.
“He’s on his way, but there’s not many of them,” Sadler said.
“I reckon it’s a bit of a concern that they’re coming through and riding their claims out too quickly.
“He hasn’t been around long and he’s outridden his claim in the bush and it won’t be long before he’s a two kilo claimer in the city.”
Sadler said previously apprentices would outride their claims in the country before going to the provincial circuit and then to town.
Now there are only two areas for Victorian apprentices, a country claim which encompasses all meetings outside the city and a metropolitan claim.
“The worry for me is these kids, you don’t want to knock them and it’s not for me to evaluate where they’re at, but they look to me they sweep through very quickly and then they can get lost,” Sadler said.
“We were saying the other day who was the last lot to come through and go on, we went back to Blake Shinn and Nick Ryan.
“I suppose there’ll be someone else but I pick up the calendar and it’s half a page and you wonder who can we use.”
After guiding Pacodali to success for Maher and Eustace, Nugent hopes to be seen more often in town in coming months.
He had four rides for his bosses on Saturday, landing a winner and a third placegetter while he picked up the ride on Asgard Massif after riding work for Sadler in recent weeks.
“You ride a lot of work for these trainers and they put you on on race-days,” Nugent said.
“Not only do you ride work at Caulfield, you travel around to Ballarat and Avoca and those sort of places.
“There’s plenty of miles, but I love it.”