Jockey's fantastic four
HONG Kong jockey Matthew Chadwick exploded on to the local racing scene on Saturday, riding four winners on the five-race card in Lismore.
The 17-year-old, who has had a racing licence for only five weeks, stunned commentators and punters when he booted home four wins from four rides including Kazak Flyer ($4) in the feature race, the Kyogle Cup (2000m).
“It was great. What can I say, it was unbelievable really,” he said.
“We thought we had one good chance in the Cup, but we didn't expect too much from the others.”
Before his storming success on Saturday, Chadwick had ridden one winner at Beaudesert since being sent by the Hong Kong Jockey Club to gain experience at the Mary-Anne Thexton stable on the Gold Coast.
Veteran racing journalist and Northern Star columnist Grahame Timbrell said the feat was unprecedented.
“No one I've spoken to knows of a 4kg-claiming-kid anywhere who's ridden four winners on the one day,” he said.
“It's absolutely outstanding.”
Now that he's claimed five career wins, Chadwick's weight allowance will drop back to 3kg but he will remain on loan with the Brett Bellamy stable until the end of the Coffs Harbour carnival
Born to a desperately poor family in China, Chadwick's biological parents could not afford to raise him and he was adopted by an English couple living in Hong Kong.
Both his adopted parents are teachers and Chadwick achieved good grades at school, but he always loved horses and wanted to be a jockey.
After winning the Kyogle Cup, Chadwick phoned his supportive parents to pass on the news.
“They knew I had three rides but I picked one up,” he said.
“They said how'd you go? And I said 'Four out of four'.
“They couldn't believe it.”
Chadwick also scored on Glenarvon Boy, Horsetails and Tommy Rainbowhorse.
Lismore Turf Club secretary Michael Timbrell was convinced he'd seen history in the making.
“He rode four out of five winners and didn't have a ride in the other race,” Michael Timbrell said.
“With a kid like that to ride four winners is amazing.
“He could be a superstar of the future. Gee, he looks good on a horse; like he's been riding for 10 years.”