Former Top Apprentice Rediscovers Love Of Racing


The passion has returned for jockey Ben Paterson. The fire is back in his belly.

Paterson is determined to rebuild his career. Lending him a hand is Woomera.

The former Sydney galloper may only be winning races on the dirt at Carnarvon, but he is creating an impression.

For a couple of seasons Paterson had the racing world at his feet, winning a truckload of awards and feature races as an apprentice.

The Listed Belmont Guineas, Listed Belmont Oaks, Listed Belmont Classic and Listed Hannans Handicap, notable achievements on his racing resume.

But like a host of young riders before him, Paterson found the transition from leading apprentice to senior jockey challenging.

Without his claim, the plum rides, the calls and interest from leading trainers and owners had dried up.

Last year, in a bid to reignite his career, Paterson made the big move to set up base in Adelaide and chase new dreams.

In the city of churches he built new contacts, made new connections and impressed industry local observers.

But after eight months the lure of Perth became too irresistible and the call from home became too deafening.

Paterson said his short stint in South Australia had reignited his love of racing.  He is delighted to be back on home soil.

“I’m loving it and it’s going really good,” Paterson told Tabradio.

“I’m working really hard and have got the weight down to 54kg.

“It was really, really good for me to go to Adelaide for those eight months.

“It opened my eyes to racing outside of Western Australia.

“Coming back I have got the fire in the belly and I’m really enjoying it.”

Woomera, previously under the guidance of Paul Perry, was bought for $260,000 as a yearling before transferring to Peter Daly’s stable.

He set tongues wagging when first up at Carnarvon in May, he trounced his rivals by a whopping nine lengths.

His margin last Saturday not as great, 3 ½ lengths, but the win no less impressive as he builds to the Minilya Sprint on June 30.

“He has a high cruising speed and likes to roll along,” Paterson said.

“He half breaks their hearts which is a pretty hard thing to do up there.

“He does it too easy and it’s good to be on a horse like him and good for my career.

“I think he can win a Saturday race in town.”

Julio Santarelli