Will Price’s stellar run in the saddle has been rewarded with his first Group 1 ride in Saturday’s $500,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.
Fresh from a treble at Sandown on Wednesday, Price will partner the aptly named Riding The Wave for Warrnambool horseman Lindsay Smith.
“I’m very excited, I’m just keen to get out there and take it all in,” Price said.
Price is no stranger to success in combination with Riding The Wave, having ridden the horse to his two wins from just six starts on Australian soil.
“I think it’s important going into a race like the Oakleigh Plate that the horse and I have a good relationship,” Price said.
“And Lindsay’s horses are always turned out in really good order.”
Riding The Wave has been kept fresh since he dropped back in distance and hit the line strongly behind All Banter in the Listed W J Adams at Caulfield on Australia Day.
“I jumped him out at Camperdown the other week and he went well,’’ Price added
“Last start dropping back form the 1400m to the 1000m dash and seeing him finish off like he did was really good… I think that will be a good form race.
“He’s always around the mark and I expect the same on Saturday.”
Price, 21, is one of the sport’s rising stars and his brilliant form has been recognised. He has picked up rides for leading trainers Peter Moody and Team Hawkes, who were both part of his first city treble on Wednesday.
“It’s been great,” Price said.
“I’ve ridden a few winners for Peter Moody now. He’s helped me out a lot and put me on some nice ones and to get another winner for Team Hawkes was super as well.”
He sits 12th on the Victorian riders’ premiership in his first full season of riding and has already racked up 132 career wins.
And while focused on his own career, Price said he was enjoying watching his younger brother Ben’s early development in South Australia since making his debut in the saddle at the start of the year.
“He’s going well, he’s really starting to pick up how to read races and when to make his move,” Will said.
“The results are starting to show which is great to see.”
Fellow South Australian apprentice Lachlan Neindorf will also make his Group 1 debut in the Oakleigh Plate riding How Womantic for the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable.
Neindorf also has a strong association with the four-year-old after they combined to win at Moonee Valley last September.
IMAGE: Racing Photos