Mature Age Apprentice Maintains Female Prominence


Jade McNaught didn’t want her weekend to stop.

The mature-age apprentice rode five winners across two meetings and claimed a career-first treble.

McNaught rode half the card at Carnarvon on Friday, steering home Henderson, Rhino’s Lad and Portrait Lao.

She followed up 48 hours later at Kalgoorlie when she combined with Tahgeo Jay and Karma Bell.

McNaught came agonisingly close to recording back-to-back trebles after Yeah Yeah Yeah was beaten by a nose in a photo finish.

After a background in equestrian, McNaught is handling the pressures of the cutthroat thoroughbred racing industry with aplomb.

Since making her riding debut at Albany in May, McNaught has claimed 16 wins and 19 placings from her 85 rides with a winning strike rate of 19 per cent.

McNaught said her introduction to racing had exceeded her expectations.

“I didn’t really know what to expect when I started, but I’m loving every minute of it,” McNaught said.

“It’s been better than what I thought or could have imagined.

“It has exceed my thoughts, but there is still so much to learn and achieve.”

With winners at Port Hedland, Carnarvon, Leonora and Kalgoorlie, McNaught’s next ambition is to make the transition to Perth racing at Ascot and Belmont.

As an up and coming and in-form 3kg apprentice she is attracting interest from trainers and owners, but McNaught says she is content to be patient.

“I have fielded some calls about riding in town, but I’m trying to hold off,” McNaught said.

“Watching replays I’m not completely happy with the way I’m sitting.

“I’m happy with the way I look at track work, but I want to make sure when I come to town I look the part.”

McNaught’s winning haul on the weekend caps another milestone for female riders in Western Australia.

Last week Lucy Warwick held bragging rights when she was named the highest ranked female rider in the world.

McNaught said she drew inspiration from Warwick’s achievement.

“She is inspiring for female riders,” McNaught said.

“She has had years of experience and hopefully I can get to where she is one day.”

Julio Santarelli