WEDNESDAY: January 22, 2020: HAWKESBURY apprentice Qin Yong is on the move in more ways than one.
Apprenticed to Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup, the Chinese-born rider made it a 2019-20 Rising Star Series hat-trick when successful on Zaromatic ($4) in the 10th heat at Wagga yesterday.
He had previously won on Song One ($19) for Gilgandra trainer Bryan Dixon at Wellington on December 9 and Drusilla ($8) for Muswellbrook trainer Dale Wagstaff at Dubbo on December 30.
Qin Yong has ridden in eight of the 10 heats conducted so far, and has amassed 36 points from his three recent wins along with a second (5 points) and three thirds (3 points each). He has been unplaced only once.
As a result, he has established a lead of 19 points over Billy Owen, with Sam Clenton and Yvette Lewis next on 16 points each.
Qin Yong ($41 chance The Patrician) and Owen (Celer, $4) will clash in the 11th heat at Canterbury today – a Benchmark 74 Handicap (1200m).
As the series leader, he will again wear the Rising Star colours.
Qin Yong rode at Queanbeyan on Monday and rather than return to his Hawkesbury base, stayed overnight to take the one mount at yesterday’s Wagga meeting.
Zaromatic, a five-year-old mare trained at Canberra by Gratz Vella, led throughout and defeated Beau Soleil (Belinda Wright) and Dashing ‘N’ Daring (Damon Budler).
Widdup is understandably delighted with his young rider’s progress, and intends shortly transferring him to Coffs Harbour trainer Brett Bellamy to enable him to gain further experience.
“Qin Yong will join Brett’s stable in February for three months,” Widdup said this morning.
“He can still claim 2kg in the country, and will get more opportunities with plenty of meetings on the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers.
“Qin Yong is going well, and it would be a terrific achievement if he can win the series.”
The current series began in early October and will conclude with the 25th and final heat on his home track at Hawkesbury on July 30.
RacingNSW introduced the Rising Star Series in 2000 for apprentice jockeys in NSW and ACT enrolled at RacingNSW Apprentice Schools.
Points are awarded on the basis of seven for a win, five for second, three for third and one point for all unplaced rides.
The six previous Rising Star Series winners were Jenny Duggan (2019), Jean Van Overmeire (2018), Andrew Adkins (2017), Travis Wolfgram (2016), Claire Nutman (2015) and Sam Clipperton (2014).