Adelaide jockey Ryan Hurdle returns home to NZ for brief riding stint

Ryan HurdleRyan Hurdle will make a brief return to riding in New Zealand during his Christmas holiday.

The former Awapuni apprentice will be back in action on his old home course at the Manawatu meeting on December 23 and on Boxing Day.

“I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends and getting as many rides as I can,” the 23-year-old said.

Hurdle made a good impression when he started his apprenticeship with his father Peter and rode 22 winners in his first season in 2010-11 and 17 the following term, including a Group Three success in the White Robe Lodge Handicap (1600m) aboard Jaggard, before departing to Australia.

“I transferred my apprenticeship to Rob Heathcote in Brisbane and that was good, but I’ve found my niche in Adelaide,” he said.

“I came here three and a-half years ago and bought a house two years ago. I rode 48 winners last season and then it went a bit quiet.

“It’s picked up again in the last month and I’ve ridden six winners, two of those in the city, and I’m getting plenty of rides.”

He moved to Australia when his father Peter crossed the Tasman in 2012 to work for Team Hawkes in Sydney before settling in Perth.

“He helps out (trainer) Simon Miller a couple of mornings a week and he’s not doing anything else – he’s pretty much living the dream,” Hurdle said.

Peter Hurdle enjoyed a successful 30-year training career in New Zealand from his Awapuni base with Aerosmith, Mr Brooker, Zapeace, Viennetta and Our Fuji among his top performers.

Aerosmith won the Group 1 Wellington Cup (3200m) and the Group 1 Whakanui International Stakes (2000m) and was a dual Group Two winner in Australia.

Mr Brooker was also a multiple Group winner and ran third in the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) behind Kingston Rule in 1990

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