PRECOCIOUS riding talent Corey Campbell initially had his heart set on the sulky rather than the saddle.
He was drawn to the standardbred game before the thoroughbreds won him over and the Wingatui 16-year-old has subsequently made a bright start to his apprenticeship with Brian and Shane Anderton.
On his home track on Melbourne Cup day he boosted his career tally to eight with a winning treble aboard the stable’s runners Erin’s Babe, Fascinate and Zabay.
“He had a good book of rides and he got the job done, he’s going along really well,” Shane Anderton said.
Standardbreds first captured Campbell’s interest and he was a familiar face at Forbury Park where he was involved with the Kidz Kart programme, which fuelled his desire to pursue a career in the sulky.
“We were driving ponies as an introduction to harness racing,” he said.
“I did that for six years and I wanted to be a driver.”
Soon after, his family’s racing background won Campbell over.
“I was 14 when I started riding trackwork for Mum and I thought this is for me,” he said.
His mother Gabrielle (nee Foote) was a jockey, as was his late father Colin and his sister Adele and after his first riding success aboard the Anderton-trained Perceptible in May he emulated them as a winning jockey.
“I was nearly 15 when I went to work for the Andertons on weekends and holidays,” Campbell said.
“I was riding work in the mornings and going to school in the afternoons before I went to them full-time and they have been very loyal to me and had faith that I could get the job done.”
The Anderton’s Patrick Erin provided him with his most valuable victory so far when they combined to win the Ashburton Cup last month.
Campbell’s early run of success will now force a re-think of this season’s riding targets.
“I’m very happy with the way things are going and my goal was to outride my four kilo claim before Christmas and I’ve already done that.”