African Jock Rides Down Under

A well known name to SA racing folk

Daniel Muscutt

Apprentice jockey Daniel Muscutt seen with Dora ‘N’ Boots. Daniel is on loan to trainer, Chris Waller. Picture: Bradley Hunter

He’s ridden for the Queen – now apprentice Daniel Muscutt has found himself on loan to Australia’s own racing royalty, Chris Waller.

The tall Zimbabwean teenager booted home a winner on his first day for Waller at Newcastle on Saturday.

Later today he’ll have his maiden city ride on Dora ‘N’ Boots at Canterbury.

Muscutt, 19, took the chance to head Down Under while racing ceased during the English winter.

He’s been riding nearly four years, and spent last year apprenticed to Marco Botti, the hotshot Italian of Dandino fame.

Muscutt, whose father Peter works for Waller, will hang around until the end of March _ around the time racing in England resumes _ and has already learned plenty during his limited time in town. Despite his experience in the saddle, Muscutt still needed to ride at the recent Rosehill trials before being given the green light by stewards to take part in races.

“They race much tighter here, and they will slow the pace halfway through a race, which means the field is compact turning for home,’’ Muscutt said of the local racing, and who can claim 1.5kg.

“The tracks here are also tighter, and there’s a big emphasis on keeping the horses balanced.

“It was massive pressure off me when I rode a winner on the weekend, and it was great to get the ball rolling straight away. I’d love to come back again. Chris is a fantastic man to work for, he’s got plenty of nice horses to ride and gain experience from, and the prizemoney here is brilliant.’’

As for Dora ‘N’ Boots, Muscutt said: “Her first-up was much better than it looked (at Kembla), she can over-race sometimes, and the emphasis will be on getting her to settle.’’

Muscutt showed The Daily Telegraph where new recruit Adelaide was stabled yesterday, but looked just as happy to pose up with Dora ‘N’ Boots, a three-year-old filly hoping to break her maiden status in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1100m).

Muscutt is tall, has Chad Schofield-like red hair, and rides comfortably at 54kg. He’s met some of our top jockeys, and said Kerrin McEvoy had been a big help. He also recalled riding against Hugh Bowman in England, ‘’but he wouldn’t have remembered me because I was a seven-pound claimer, flapping around out back’’.

Waller was only too happy to put Muscutt on, and went through his Newcastle rides first thing Monday.

“I was very impressed by the way he spoke, and the way he rode them. He’s got a bright future,’’ Waller said.

“He’s ridden for the Queen, and he’s riding for some of the top stables.

“Dora isn’t the best ride we can give him, but it certainly won’t be his last ride. He’ll be on some good horses for us in the coming months.

“Dora is a rough chance, but Daniel will increase her chances. He’s a good rider, a very strong rider.

“Her very first race start she run behind the likes of Unencumbered. She gets back and finishes off”

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