Jade McNaught has had a spectacular start to her riding career.
In just 15 months since making her debut at Albany, the mature-aged apprentice is considered one of the brightest riding talents in Western Australia.
Last September at Belmont she created history when she became the first apprentice to boot home six winners in a Perth metropolitan meeting.
With her maturity, skill, confidence, courage and self-assuredness in the saddle, she is garnering a wave of support and profile in Australian racing.
One of those supporters is iconic trainer, Fred Kersley; generally understated and not prone to hyperbole or hype, but he can’t his admiration for the rising talent.
“I think she is outstanding,” Kersley said on Tabradio.
“She is a mature-aged apprentice, but rides like a senior jockey.
“I think she is a great rider actually and doing a marvellous job for the experience she’s had.
“I have a lot of confidence in her ability.
“She has the smarts in terms of tactics and horses respond to her very well.
“She looks good on a horse and horses run well for her.
“She has the happy knack of pulling the right rein more often than the wrong one.”
Kersley and McNaught combine with Gotta Motor and Mizlecki at Ascot on Saturday.
Mizlecki marks her return in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) and has been allocated 58kg, the equal top weight with Wrinkly.
Kersley is concerned by the weight impost.
“It’s certainly a problem, the weight she has to carry and she is quite a small horse.
“She is also first-up and I think she will be fully tested.
“She will run a good race, but will be tested.”
Mizlecki has drawn barrier three and with Tabtouch she has drifted from $8.50 to $12.
Gotta Motor is looking to break the shackles after three consecutive second placings in his maiden campaign last season.
The Sessions gelding won a trial in readiness for the Muscular Dystrophy WA Plate (1000m).
“His form as a two-year-old was pretty good without winning,” Kersley said.
“A thousand metres maybe a little short for him.
“But happy with the horse and believe he is a horse that will improve with racing.”
Gotta Motor is rated an $8.50 chance.