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Adkins Prepares For New Challenge

By Ray Hickson

Work hard.

That’s both the lesson Andrew Adkins learned under the guidance of his mentor Ron Quinton and what he knows he’ll have to do to make it as a senior rider.

Sydney’s reigning champion apprentice rides as a junior for the last time at Rosehill on Saturday and when he arrives at Kembla Grange on Tuesday he’ll be a fully-fledged jockey.

And Quinton, a master of apprentices who has educated a roll call of young riders like Hugh Bowman, Sam Clipperton, Mitchell Bell and Bobby El-Issa, has as always produced a young man ready for the challenge.

Ron Quinton and Andrew Adkins celebrate a feature win. (Pic: Bradley Photos).

“Work hard, that’s the main thing Ron always says,’’ Adkins said.

“The harder you work the more successful you will be. I want to really establish myself in the next 12 months in Sydney.

“I know it’s not going to be easy, I’m going to have to work hard for it but I’m prepared to do so.’’

While he will go down as another Quinton success story, it’s easily forgotten that Adkins started out under the guidance of Marc Quinn at Port Macquarie but it’s something he certainly doesn’t.

His father Brett’s contribution behind the scenes is also something that Adkins says has been vital to him reaching the heights he has so far.

“Marc taught me the ropes. To get into the swing of things, going through trials and trackwork then getting me to the races,’’ Adkins said.

“He was a great mentor and then to come to Ron was even better. They have been great supporters.

“Dad works very hard to get me the rides I get, I know he’s doing his best not only as a father figure but a manager as well.

“But I’m excited to get into the senior ranks, it’s been a good apprenticeship for me. I’ve had a lot of luck and support from trainers and owners.’’

The 20-year-old completed a rare premiership feat when he won the Sydney apprentices title in 2016-17 – he’d won the Provincial apprentice title the year before and the Country crown prior to that.

Adkins’ biggest wins, among over 200 winners to date, have come on classy mares In Her Time (Group 2 Breeders’ Classic) and Daysee Doom (Group 2 Golden Pendant and Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic).

The latter mare counts as one of his favourite horses, having ridden her to five of her seven wins, and those wins were made even more special as they were for Quinton.

“Winning the apprentices title was a main goal I set myself and to achieve that was pretty unreal,’’ he said.

“We are competing some of the best jockeys in the world, when you have a field of eight or nine and there are 10 or 11 great jockeys in the room and you’re trying to get rides it’s difficult.’’

With five rides between the Canterbury night meeting and Saturday’s Rosehill card, Adkins knows his chances are limited to go out a winner but there’s sure to be a celebratory gesture if he does.

Forbidden Kisses (race 3), Balius (race 4) and Duchess Pedrille (race 8) are his rides at Canterbury while he’s engaged for Allzin (race 8) and Coolcraft (race 9) at Rosehill.

“Hopefully I can punch one over the line with a bit of luck,’’ he said.

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Expressway Stakes meeting at Rosehill Gardens

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