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Zimbabwe's Horse Racing Prodigy Raises the Zim flag high - Zimbabwe Today
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Zimbabwe’s Horse Racing Prodigy Raises the Zim flag high


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Zimbabwean apprentice jockey Daniel Muscutt is enjoying his time at the Chris Waller stab

Zimbabwean apprentice jockey Daniel Muscutt is enjoying his time at the Chris Waller stables. Picture: Bradley Hunter

HE has ridden for the Queen and 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 will 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 has been riding almost 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,’’ said Muscutt, who can claim 1.5kg.

Zimbabwean teenager Daniel Muscutt with three-year-old filly Dora 'N' Boots. Picture: Bra

Zimbabwean teenager Daniel Muscutt with three-year-old filly Dora ‘N’ Boots. Picture: Bradley Hunter

“The tracks here are also tighter, and there is 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 has 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 run 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 on Tuesday, but looked just as happy to pose 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 has met some of our top jockeys, and said Kerrin McEvoy had been a big help.

Muscutt 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 on Monday.

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

“He has 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 ran behind the likes of Unencumbered. She gets back and ­finishes off.’’

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