Queensland apprentice Madeleine Wishart will try and seize an unexpected opportunity when she makes her Adelaide riding debut on Saturday.
A shortage of city classed claiming apprentices and the current travel restrictions in place has seen South Australian trainers look beyond its closest border.
And with opportunities at home stifled on one of Queensland racing’s biggest days - Stradbroke Day - the timing was perfect for Wishart to ride at Morphettville.
“Bobby El-Issa is the one to thank,’’ Wishart said
“He rang up and asked me if I would be interested in going down there at carnival time and riding for Michael (Hickmott).
“I spoke to my manager, then had a good chat to Michael and he spoke to his main owner and that was that,’’ she said.
She’ll ride Lady Bethany, Allacciato and Lido Beach, another former Lindsay Smith galloper who joins the leading Murray Bridge trainer after winning at Ballarat last time out, for Hickmott.
And has also picked up a ride for Hall of Fame trainer Leon Macdonald and co-trainer Andrew Gluyas.
“Michael has given me a few nice rides,’’ Wishart said.
“His stable is going super and is at the top of the premiership,’’ she said.
And Saturday may not be the only time we see the talented hoop riding in SA.
“We’re just going to take it one Saturday at a time,’’ Wishart said.
“Next Saturday I’m riding in the Ipswich Cup, but if all goes well this weekend I might come back for a weekend or two after that,’’ she said.
Wishart, 23, has enjoyed the best season of her career after returning from a six-month injury lay-off in February which saw her land her first Listed win in the Australian Turf Club Trophy at Aquis Park Gold Coast in March.
“Coming back from injury I’ve felt like I’ve been getting more opportunities than I was beforehand,’’ Wishart said.
“And getting that Listed winner was a massive boost for my career,’’ she said.
Off the track Wishart has been using intense boxing training to help her regain focus on the track and keep her weight stable. She made her debut in April at the “Fight For A Cause" charity night which didn’t quite go to plan.
“It was good, but it didn’t really work how it was supposed too,’’ Wishart said.
“I was supposed to fight another jockey, but she pulled out and I ended up against a professional boxer.
“She had 20 kilograms on me so that was interesting," she said.
"I held my own. I didn’t get knocked out, but I don’t think I’ll be stepping into the boxing ring any time soon."
IMAGE: Racing Queensland