Apprentice finally achieves city honours

By: Craig Brennan Wednesday 20 November 20

One of Victoria's brightest young riding talents has finally broken through for his maiden city success at Sandown.

Injury had put apprentice Tom Stockdale's career on hold and the 20 year-old was beaming after guiding Maracaibo home in the MRC 6 Month Membership Handicap on Wednesday.

Stockdale burst onto the scene in 2017 and looked one of Victoria's best young apprentices before injury stalled his career.

He spent 13 months on the sidelines with a broken leg after a fall at Stony Creek before being involved in a four-horse fall at Sale in July put him out until October.

"I had that time off after the Stony Creek fall and was just getting going again when I had that nasty fall which involved four horses at Sale," Stockdale said.

"I came out with a broken foot and a bad concussion. The concussion was actually worse than the foot and it took a while to get over.

"When I got back it was a bad time to be coming back during spring time, but I was lucky enough to ride a few winners for some good trainers that are showing me support.

"Fingers crossed we can stay upright now."

Stockdale spoke to his cousin, former apprentice Brandon Stockdale, on Wednesday morning who told the young rider to ride Sandown with patience.

Drossin opened up a healthy early lead with Maracaibo carting the other horses up to the leader.

"Brandon has ridden plenty here over the past couple of years and rode the track quite well and he just said, patience mate, patience," Stockdale said.

"I had that playing in the back of my head and I just let the horse do the rest."

Racing Victoria stewards quizzed jockeys Billy Egan and Craig Williams regarding tactics aboard fancied runners Black Sage ($2.70 favourite) and Horowitz ($2.80) in the Ladbrokes Plate.

Egan, aboard Black Sage, and Williams riding Horowitz, took each other on, clearing out six lengths in front of their rivals early in the race before finishing last and second last respectively.

Both riders told stewards their mounts refused to settle and their inexperience told against them.

Stewards accepted the riders explanations.