By Tony Megahey
Wendy Peel is a determined young lady on a mission and her first season combination with accomplished Sue Grills and other regional stables can be followed with confidence, way past Saturday’s Tamworth TAB meeting.
Wendy’s from Scone, the 'Horse capital of Australia' and her education in equestrian and thoroughbreds entails half-a-lifetime and several continents.
Formerly apprenticed to Peter Robl at Randwick, Wendy is now indentured to the renowned Sue Grills stable at Tamworth.
Wendy’s 10 winners since attaining her professional licence only in December, is an indication of a capable and confident apprentice.
Claiming 3.5kg, Wendy’s growing reputation has led to bookings in five of the six races at Tamworth for different stables.
Horses travel and respond to Wendy’s technique and she worked initially at renowned Yarraman Park and then for leading overseas stables.
“I grew up in pony clubs, show jumping, eventing, then I travelled for a couple of years riding trackwork in New Zealand, the US, France and the UK - a fantastic experience but lovely to be home again,” Wendy enthused, after impressing with her 10th winner at Wellington on Thursday - a bold front-running ride on I Am You Are for Cody Morgan.
“I’ve got some live chances on Saturday but my main goal is to reduce my allowance to 2kg and I need nine more winners and that’s the gauge in improvement I think.
“Since I came home the support I’ve had from the stables up here has been fantastic. You can’t improve and get experience without regular opportunities and then you’ve got to really make the most of them. Sue, Cody and Michelle Fleming have been giving me decent rides all season.”
Wendy opens the Tamworth program for the Grills stable with More Than Magico in the Treasury Wines 1200m Maiden.
“He does have talent, his run at Quirindi was enormous after drawing wide, but he’s out there again in a big field so we’ll need some luck,” Wendy offered. “If we can slot in somewhere with cover, he’ll run a race - both his recent runs have been solid.”
Wendy considers the Morgan-trained Vindicated to be her next best in the third event, a Class One and Maiden (1600m): "He’s been competitive every race this time in, he is well placed as a maiden winner and he’s got form at the distance.”
And Wendy had a special request: “How can I get a photo of the Wellington win to keep on record for the family?" Racing NSW and Janian McMillan (Sarsfield Photography) were happy to oblige.