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Bush apprentice impresses at the Valley
Mike Hedge
08:15 AEST Mon Dec 31 2012

At a time when there is no shortage of talented apprentice riders in Melbourne a "boy" with a stack of ability and a three kilo claim has added his name to the list.

John Kissick, a 21-year-old who has ridden 143 winners in the bush, landed his third in Melbourne at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

His ride to win the Chandler Macleod Handicap (1000m) on Sumakaray was one trainer Brian Cox described as the difference between winning and losing.

To Kissick it was an advertisement he hopes will land him a job with a Melbourne stable.

Kissick, 21, is apprenticed to Peter Clancy at Leeton, the same stable that produced Tim Clark whose success in Sydney led to a job in Hong Kong.

"I'm hoping to move to Melbourne pretty soon, I'm just trying to sort out where I'll go," Kissick said.

"I really don't want to say too much because I've talked to a few people."

Whatever trainer becomes Kissick's new master will inherit a readymade jockey whose claim is worth a lot more than the official three kilos.

Kissick rode 83 winners in NSW last season, earning him the state's champion apprentice title ahead of such established talents as Chad Schofield.

The achievment came despite missing almost four months of the season through injury. It also won him Southern District Racing Association (SDRA) jockey's title and put him in fifth place on the NSW all-round country jockeys' championship.

Kissick rode an intelligent and disciplined race on Sumakaray in a highly competitive event.

"He had to contend with the wind and when he was caught a bit wide he didn't panic," Cox said.

"It was a very impressive performance."

Kissick travelled to Warrnambool on Sunday where he picked up another winner, steering Royal Island to a maiden victory for trainer John Salanitri.


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