A mare bought for small change will provide rookie Te Awamutu trainer Joe Waldron with his first black type runner at Trentham on Saturday.
Waldron was formerly the travelling foreman for the champion stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and he has called on that experience to gain an edge with the booking of Daniel Moor for Princess Dillon in the Group 3 Wellington Cup (3200m).
“I met Daniel when I was over in Australia with Murray’s horses, they used him a bit so he’s agreed to come over and he can ride the 53kg,” Waldron said.
The Victorian-based Moor has more than 700 winners to his credit, highlighted by Australian Group 2 and Group 3 victories. The 33-year-old has also ridden in Singapore, Mauritius, China and Korea.
At the other end of the scale, Waldron is in just his first season of training and has three winners from just 10 runners with Dylan Thomas’ daughter Princess Dillon responsible for two of those successes.
“I bought her for my mother Sharon for $1200 at the broodmare sale at Karaka and she’s been really consistent for us,” he said.
“Mum’s always been involved with horses and she rode trackwork herself when she was younger. She has a fantastic way with horses and has taught me a huge amount.”
An accomplished horseman, Waldron, 26, has made the successful transition from eventing to racing.
“Racing has always been in the family and I mainly come from an eventing background,” he said.
“I was on a couple of Olympic development squads and rode for New Zealand a couple of times.”
Upon switching his focus to racing, Waldron was fortunate to be associated with multiple Group 1 winners Mongolian Khan and Turn Me Loose during his tenure with Baker and Forsman.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better pair than Murray and Andrew to have done an apprenticeship with,” he said.
“Since I have gone out on my own they have been really supportive and have given me a number of horses to pre-train.”
With 18 boxes at Waipa, Waldron is hoping to eventually have a full team of racehorses and fewer pre-trainers.
“I kicked off in mid-May last year and it’s building up nicely,” he said.
“It’s a dream come true to have a runner in the Wellington Cup, it’s probably a bit ambitious but Princess Dillon was very strong to the line when she won her maiden over 2000m at New Plymouth and again over 2100m at Te Rapa.
“Her pedigree suggests she will stay all day and she’s got a really good racing style. She’ll be up in the first few and out of trouble when some of the others are falling back because they can’t run the two miles.