Apprentice jockey Jade McNaught has won the Racing and Wagering WA 2019 Rising Star Apprentice Series which concluded in Northam on 5 May, 2019.
McNaught, was never challenged for first place since the series commenced on April 4 winning with 221 points, Chloe Azzopardi came second with 83 points and Brandon Louis third with 77 points.
Manager Racing Industry Training Ron Fleming said the Rising Star Apprentice Series was a great way to showcase the rising talent pool of WA apprentice jockey’s and it enabled the less experienced apprentices to be competitive with more experienced ones.
“Jade McNaught is a fantastic example of someone who does not come from a racing background but has quite quickly become very successful,” said Fleming.
“Only 12 months into her jockey apprenticeship she has established a reputation as one of Perth’s leading apprentice riders, she was in form for the duration of the series.”
McNaught originally obtained her track work and fast work licences whilst working for Tiarnna Robertson, making her race debut at the final Albany meeting of the 2017/18 season on May 11 of last year.
It wasn’t until people continually asked her the same questions, about whether she would like to become a jockey as a career option that she first thought about taking on a jockey apprenticeship as a mature age apprentice.
“When I was riding around the track people kept asking me how much I weighed, which I thought was a strange question at the beginning,” McNaught laughed.
“I think when I first started riding at the track I was just under 50 kilos, I’m five-foot-four, so I’m a bit taller, but I’m only light.”
Asked why she believes she has been able to rise through the riding ranks quicker than most, McNaught labels maturity and the assistance from her peers as major factors.
“Being able to communicate with the trainers is probably one of the reasons why I’m getting so many rides,” she said.
“I’ve had a lifetime experience with horses, so I think that would also have to have given me some sort of benefit moving into the racehorses.”
“I’ve always been interested in breaking-in and training young horses, it’s what I’ve done as projects throughout my life.”
The Rising Star Series comprised of 28 race meetings and concluded in Northam on May 5, seven points were allocated for riding a winner, two for second and one for third.