Forbes the saddle trot king

Alex Forbes enjoying riding in the saddle trots. (Photo: Wally O'Hearn).

Alex Forbes is enjoying riding in the saddle trots. (Photo: Wally O’Hearn).

Alex Forbes may not be kicking home winners as a jockey, but he hasn’t lost that winning touch.

The Cambridge 19-year-old, who has ridden 98 winners in New Zealand, is these times based in China working as assistant trainer for his father, Graeme, at the new Khorchin complex.

Having struggled with his weight, Forbes has turned his attention to riding occasionally in the saddle trot races and he is making his mark in the role.

At the recent opening of the new Khorchin track he competed on the same horse in two heats and was leading rider on the day.

He was successful on his first ride, settling his mount third and coming with a well-timed run, then finished third later in the day.

“It’s far easier than riding the gallopers,” said Forbes, who has ridden four saddle trot winners. “They go slower.”

While a long way from home, he has been keeping tabs on the New Zealand racing scene and was thrilled when his brother, Mark, saddled up the winner Wooster at Rotorua last Sunday.