Up-And-Coming Apprentice Jockey Jag Guthmann-Chester Takes A Shot At Metropolitan!
Written on the 11 August 2017
It took a year of twisting trainer, Bruce Hill's arm before he allowed apprentice jockey Jag Guthmann-Chester to prove himself on the metropolitan scene. Last month was his Saturday debut at the Sunshine Coast followed by Doomben last Saturday.
Hill likes to take the patient approach with apprentices, having guided Tegan Harrison the same way.
"He has been very measured. He doesn't rush to get you to the next level," Guthmann-Chester said.
"He made me wait a long time to get to the Gold Coast and when I was pushing him to get me to town, he made me wait longer."
Just a few years ago, 18-year-old apprentice jockey, Jag Guthmann-Chester from the Gold Coast was flipping burgers at McDonalds with no interest in horses.
"I grew up in the shadows of the Gold Coast Turf Club, but I didn't know anything about horses and I was a typical Gold Coast kid who loved to surf," Guthmann-Chester said.
"I was working at Macca's when I was in Grade 10 at school when my grandfather told me I should go for an interview as an apprentice jockey as I had always been a small kid.
"I hated school so I thought I would give it a go.
"I went and saw (trainer) Bruce Hill and I couldn't believe it but he gave me a job.
"When I knew I had got the job I rode my pushbike down to his stables to show some mates a few of the horses that I would be riding.
"I put my head over a fence and went to pat a horse and I got scared and thought it might not be for me."
It didn't take long for Guthmann-Chester to overcome his fear and learn the ropes, kicking off his career riding a winner on the dirt track at Gympie, August 22nd, 2015. He then went on to ride plenty of winners in Toowoomba and last season's Gold Coast Apprentice's title.
"My aim is now to win the Brisbane metro apprentices' title this season," said Guthmann-Chester.
"I am getting a bit of support from trainers like John Meagher and Kelly Schweida so hopefully I can gave a decent go at winning the title."
With a lack of 3kg claimers in the city, the time is right for this promising 18-year-old.
"He (Bruce Hill) was right. Going to the city now has timed in really well. There are not a lot of 3kg claimers, so I am hoping I can make the most of it," said the 18-year-old.
He certainly made a good first impression at Wednesday's Caloundra metro meeting when he won a double. And this Saturday he has some key rides to build on that.
"It felt pretty good to ride a double," Guthmann-Chester said. "You want that to happen at the start of the season and I'm hoping it will lead to getting me some more rides.
"I definitely notice the difference in metropolitan races. There's more atmosphere and a bigger buzz on Saturdays in town. I love it."
(Photo: Jag Guthmann-Chester after his winning double at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday. Photo source: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography)