Champion apprentice Sam Weatherlley is set to take up a three-month contract with Chris Waller.
Champion New Zealand apprentice Sam Weatherley has accepted an offer from Chris Waller to relocate to Sydney and ride for Australia’s leading stable for the next three months.
The opportunity was confirmed today and 19-year-old Weatherley will have his final day of riding on the local scene at Ruakaka on Saturday before heading to Sydney the following day.
Little more than two years after riding his first winner, Weatherley is now the headline act amongst New Zealand apprentices. In his first full season he claimed the 2016-17 apprentice premiership with 67 wins and is on target with 62 wins to defend the title. His biggest single win to date is the Gr. 1 Telegraph on Enzo’s Lad at Trentham in January.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity and now that it’s confirmed I can’t wait to get to Sydney,” Weatherley told www.theinformant.co.nz between rides at today’s Taupo trial meeting.
“Thanks to a lot of people like my boss Lance O’Sullivan and all the trainers who have put me on, I’ve achieved what I’ve wanted to here.
“Now I’ve got the chance to develop my skills riding for the best trainer in Australia and alongside some of the world’s best jockeys.
“Lance and my parents are fully supportive of the move, they’re all happy for me. The contract is for three months at this stage and if it all goes well I’d love to stay longer. If not I’ve always got a place back in New Zealand.”
From Sydney, Waller Racing’s business manager Liam Pryor described Weatherley as a talent they had been monitoring for several months after being alerted to him by Raffles Racing manager Bruce Sherwin.
“Bruce brought Sam to our attention and we’ve been keeping an eye on him,” Pryor said. “Chris likes to identify a young rider every couple of years and offer an opportunity like this.
“It’s an ideal time of year to kick off on what will initially be a three-month contract. We’re yet to have it confirmed by Racing New South Wales what claim Sam will have to begin with, but it will be a good opportunity for him to get over here and see where it takes him.”