Ric McMahon back and ready to race
Jockey Ric McMahon believes he’ll have no trouble adapting to Australia’s new whip rules when he resumes riding at Eagle Farm on Saturday following a successful six months in Singapore.
McMahon, 21, rode for the major stables in Singapore including those of John Meagher, Michael Freedman, Laurie Laxon and Cliff Brown but is back in his home town and keen to start another chapter in his brief but successful career.
"I really enjoyed my time over there and it was a great experience," McMahon said.
"I learned heaps while I was over there, particularly off the South African and Brazilian riders.
"They’ve got a much different style. They get down lower in the saddle and ride more forward than us."
McMahon, a dual Brisbane apprentices’ premiership winner, left Australia in April when he was in third place in the battle for the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership.
His best win overseas was aboard the Laxon-trained Good Feel in the Group Two Shin Min Cup (1400m) at Kranji.
"I rode quite a few winners in Singapore but I’m looking forward to riding here again," he said.
"I want to do well here and have a good winter carnival next year before I look at going back in the future.
"I’m keen to go back to Singapore one day and a few trainers want me to go back but I’d also like to ride in Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong has always been my dream.
"Singapore really opened my eyes but I’ve got a few things to do here first before I go back overseas."
McMahon believes his riding style hasn’t altered that much since the last time he rode in Australia and that he won’t have a problem adapting to the new whip regulations.
"I haven’t changed my style too much but I do try to get down lower in the saddle before I use the whip," he said.
"I know the new whip rules but they shouldn’t affect me too much.
"Racing is much different in Singapore and the atmosphere is completely different as it is all driven by betting.
"Jockeys can hit horses as many times as they want over there. There’s no rules and punters wouldn’t bet if there were restrictions with the whip."
McMahon, who served his apprenticeship with Eagle Farm trainer Brian Smith, has been back in Brisbane for only a week but already has four early rides.
"It’s looks like it’s going to be pretty tough getting rides here with the depth of riders we have here now," he said.
McMahon’s early rides include the Rob Heathcote-trained Captain Clayton in the Graystone Studio Handicap (1400m) and Woorim in the Back To The Normanby Handicap (1200m).
Heathcote expects both will run well, particularly Woorim who was a last-start second at Eagle Farm last month.
"Woorim is a good horse and he was impeded last run," Heathcote said.
"I’ve got a good opinion of him and I expect him to run very well although he’s drawn widely (13)."
By Glenn Davis