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Apprentice keeps the masters at bay

By Andrew Adermann

Apprentice jockey Baylee Nothdurft has extended his lead atop the Queensland Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership after riding two winners at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Nothdurft’s successful weekend took his season tally to 43.5 wins, with Ryan Maloney still hot on his heels with 40 wins.

In what has already been a stellar season for the 21-year-old, Nothdurft capped off the weekend by outriding his city claim – something he says is the biggest highlight of his career.

“Obviously we still have half the season to go but to be leading the premiership is a fantastic achievement for me,” Nothdurft said.

“I can still ride 54kg so I should be able to continue getting good support from the trainers but with no claim it will be a little harder.

“To outride it though is definitely the highlight of my career and hopefully I can still be around the mark for the premiership come the end of the season.

“Ryan (Maloney) and Robbie (Fradd) are right behind me and even Matty (McGillivray) is getting a roll on so they’ll be the ones to beat and as I said, it’s still pretty early to be talking about premierships but to be in the spot I am, I’m really grateful.”

The rising star’s first triumph of the day came in the Girls Day Out February 22 No Metro Wins Handicap over 1000 metres, where he steered home $2.25 favourite Usmanov for the Toby and Trent Edmonds stable in a straightforward one length victory.

He then followed it up with his second score of the day, taking out the Family Raceday April 4 Open Handicap over 1400 metres aboard Snitch for Tony Gollan.

The Nothdurft-Gollan combination is fast becoming one of the most formidable in Queensland racing, with 30 of the jockey’s 43.5 metro wins this season aboard Tony Gollan trained horses.

“He’s the leading trainer in Brisbane and to be an apprentice to him with the support he’s given me, I definitely wouldn’t be outriding my claim without him that’s for sure,” Nothdurft said.

“He’s a great mentor and he knows what he’s talking about – we get along really well, he is a great person and I could not be more thankful for what he’s done for me.”

Ryan Maloney will have his work cut out to keep the leader’s margin from blowing out as he splits his time between Brisbane and Melbourne, where he is teaming up with Queensland star Alligator Blood for his campaign down south.

Maloney will however make the trip back to Brisbane for this Wednesday’s Doomben meeting, where he currently has six rides booked.

Robbie Fradd rounds out the podium with 38.5 wins after an early win on Saturday aboard Rob Heathcote’s two-year-old gun Rothfire.

Jim Byrne sits in fourth spot, but is still sidelined with a broken leg after a fall in December.

The news is a little better for fellow hoop Michael Cahill, who last week was given the all clear to return from a foot fracture he suffered in October last year.

Cahill, who still sits ninth in the standings, will commence trackwork this week with an eye on returning to racing by the end of the month.

Click here to view the Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership.