John Kissick considering joining Queensland’s young jockey ranks
QUEENSLAND’S booming young jockey ranks could be boosted further with talented NSW hoop John Kissick, a former apprentice to leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller, looking to move north.
Kissick, 24, is about to embark on a two-week Queensland holiday and will visit Eagle Farm races on Saturday to introduce himself to local trainers and jockeys.
Now based in Wagga Wagga in south-western NSW, the former NSW champion apprentice says he is keen to make the move to Brisbane in the next six to 12 months.
“Sydney probably wasn’t for me although I learned a lot there working for Mr Waller,’’ Kissick said.
“I wanted to leave Sydney to go back to the bush but I am looking for some new challenges and I have my eye on Brisbane.
“I like the lifestyle and the warmer weather in Brisbane and it has some very good racing there as well.
“My Dad lives in Brisbane but I will probably look to buy my own place up there.’’
The laid-back Kissick has saddle and will travel and currently rides anywhere and everywhere in regional NSW including Bathurst, Goulburn, Forbes, Gundagai and recently rode as far north as Coffs Harbour.
He has travelled thousands of kilometres in the bush since returning from his Sydney apprenticeship with Waller.
But he is far more than a bush jockey and Waller was hugely impressed by the youngster and had no doubt he could make it as a senior metropolitan jockey.
The signs were there early that Kissick was a rare talent.
In 2011-12, he was crowned NSW’s leading apprentice despite only riding for eight months of the season because of injury.
Kissick has done it the hard way, badly breaking his pelvis in a track accident as a teenager, which hospitalised him for three months just when he was about to get his ticket to ride.
He spent a further seven months off the track and was lucky to be able to walk again, let alone continue his riding career.
Kissick’s looming move north will inject further competition into Brisbane’s jockey ranks at a time where there is already fierce riding rivalries.
A horde of young apprentices have made their names in Brisbane in recent times and 21-year-old Tim Bell took out last season’s metropolitan riding title.
But senior riders such as Chris Munce and Larry Cassidy are also in fine form and won’t be swept aside by the young guns.