Waddell repays Windsor Park faith

Jason Waddell returning to scale on Freddy Mac to celebrate his first win on the comeback trail at Tauranga today.

Jason Waddell celebrating his first win on the comeback trail aboard Freddy Mac at Tauranga today.

Jason Waddell quickly repaid the faith shown in him by Windsor Park principals Nelson and Rodney Schick when winning on Freddy Mac at Tauranga today.

Waddell has spent the last 12 months on the sideline completing a penalty handed down in December 2015 after he was found guilty of an act detrimental to the interests of racing and of improper riding.

The charges arose from an incident at an Avondale trial meeting in September 2015 after his mount severely interfered with a horse ridden by Samantha Collett.

During his time on the sideline Waddell was encouraged and helped by the Schicks, as well as aided by a personal trainer, to return to the raceday saddle.

He resumed at Tauranga today and, though he had no joy with his first mount, Dare To Dream, who bled in race two, he was back in the winner’s enclosure after the next race when successful on Freddy Mac, a Pins gelding bred and part-owned by Windsor Park Stud.

“A big thanks to the Windsor Park team who have backed me the whole way,” said Waddell. “To kick start my career with a win for them is very special.”

Waddell was also quick to thank all his other supporters and during a pre-race interview he made special mention of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and the Racing Integrity Unit.

“I’m grateful to NZTR and the RIU for allowing me one more chance,” he said. “I’m out to do a job and I’ve got some pretty hefty goals.”

Freddy Mac looked a top ride for Waddell in the Greers Gastro Bar Greerton 1300 after capping some trials form off with a trials win at Cambridge last November then an encouraging raceday debut for a close third behind Alamosa Express at Pukekohe before another trials run at Te Aroha (when ridden by Waddell) to ready him for the assignment.

However, it wasn’t all plain-sailing for Waddell on the Emma-Lee and David Browne-trained three-year-old, even though he began well and was tracking the leader for most of the way.

“The saddle slipped quite badly coming out of the barrier and I was just trying to keep him on an even keel,” said Waddell. “He pulled a bit from the 700 to the 500, but I had the race won from the top of the straight.”

Coasting, the pacemaker, kicked clear on straightening for the run home, but Freddy Mac soon closed on him and wore him down and drew clear to win by a length and a half.

“He’s a nice horse and he’s got a future,” said Waddell.

The Brownes had been confident of victory after Freddy Mac’s debut third.

“That was a very strong field when he came third and it was only half as strong here so we thought he’d go well,” said David Browne.

The win was timely for Windsor Park as it will offer a Savabeel half-brother to Freddy Mac at the National Yearling Sales at Karaka on January 30.