PROMISING Southern District apprentice jockey Tyler Schiller will kick off the next stage of his career with Mark Newnham at Warwick Farm on Thursday.
Schiller was in hot demand from city stables after outriding his country claim in the first 13 months of his riding career.
Schiller settled on a move to Sydney to join Newnham, who has a good reputation for his work developing apprentice jockeys.
The move had been in the pipelines for weeks but the papers were signed at the Albury race meeting on Monday.
"It's exciting," Schiller said.
"It's one of the bigger and better things that could happen at the moment."
Newnham has been watching Schiller for some time and is happy to have him on board.
"Absolutely. From all reports, he's a good young fella, looking for an opportunity to advance his career," Newnham said.
"He's got enough talent. Really all they need, is the right mindset and a bit of a talent and we can mould the rest. I've watched him for a while and in a short time, he's ridden a lot of winners, he's ready to take the next step, which I've spoken to him about and that's provincial riding."
Newnham now expects Schiller to follow the path taken by his apprentices, Robbie Dolan and Tom Sherry.
"I'll handle him in the same way I've handled Robbie Dolan and Tom Sherry, so he knows that coming on board. The value of that is, with a three-tiered system with the claim, it's a waste of time rushing them into town and wasting their claim when they can go and ride another 60-odd winners at the provincials and still come to town with three kilos," he said.
"Tommy will start riding in town in about two weeks time, and he'll be full-time riding in town, and then Tyler will go to the provincials. It's a good way to make them good jockeys, not just good apprentices.
"My goal is that I want you to be a good jockey when you come out of your time, because a lot of them can be good apprentices but when that claim reduces or runs out, they've got to have the skills to make it as a senior ride and with enough experience under their belt they'll get there, but it's a matter of taking little steps."
Schiller said it was a relatively straight forward decision to join Newnham, once the opportunity arose.
"There was a lot of top trainers ring. I don't know if it was a tough call going to Mark, because he's so good at what he does but I never really expected Mark to need another apprentice at the time but I'm very grateful that he does need another apprentice and I'm the one that he's chosen," Schiller said.
"He's a really good apprentice mentor. He's had Rachel King, Robbie Dolan and Tom Sherry, and they're all top apprentices. He seems to be really good at giving opportunities and teaching apprentices what they're doing wrong and how to improve on it, which is the same as Phil (Sweneey), just at a higher level."
Schiller, 21, arrives in Sydney having ridden 89 winners since starting out in April last year.
The boy from Young is now looking forward to taking the next step.
"It's been a pretty quick ride. Getting from trials all the way through to outriding my country claim," he said.
"I'm not sure where I sit on the premierships but I think I've done a pretty good job, considering what my goals were to start.
"I'd like to outride my provincial claim, as I did with my country claim. It would be nice to do that within a year. Then if I'm going good enough and Mark thinks I'm ready for town, hopefully in the next two years, hopefully I get a crack in town."
Schiller thanked Sweeney for his time there and said he was grateful for the opportunities he provided, as well as keeping him grounded.
JERILDERIE filly Lady Brook lost no admirers despite suffering the first loss of her career at Sandown on Wednesday.
Lady Brook ran second, beaten two and a quarter lengths, behind Dane Zelek in the $40,000 3YO Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m).
Ridden by Craig Williams, Lady Brook was given no peace in front but kicked strongly in the straight to beat all but one of her opposition.
The three-year-old filly won her first two races in devastating fashion and her metropolitan debut on Wednesday confirmed that trainer Phil Sweeney has plenty to look forward to with her.
THE good news keeps on coming on the crowd front.
Murrumbidgee Turf Club will welcome back the general public, as well as members and their guests on Monday.
Members must contact the club and pre-purchase a ticket for a hospitality package to attend.
Bookmakers have also began to the return to the track and fielded at Gundagai and Albury meetings over the past week.
TICKETS for the $1.3 million Kosciuszko went on sale on Wednesday morning.
Racing NSW also released the conditions for this year's feature for country-trained sprinters, which will take place on Everest day at Royal Randwick on Saturday, October 17.
Tickets are $5 and are only open to NSW residents.
"Purchasing a ticket for the Kosciuszko is like a sweepstakes system - the more tickets you buy, the greater chances of winning," TAB's Adam Hamilton said.
The Southern District has only had the one runner in the race before, O' So Hazy in the inaugural edition two years ago.
That is likely to change this year with three SDRA-trained horses up the pointy end of TAB's Kosciuszko market.
Geoff Duryea's pair, Front Page and News Girl, are $6 and $11 respectively, while Mitch Beer's new addition, Redouble, is a $15 chance.
Lord Von Costa is the other chance from the region and is rated a $26 chance. He will have his next start at Flemington on Saturday.
The draw for slot holders will be on Wednesday, September 9. Ticket sales close two days beforehand on September 7.
For the second consecutive year, arrangements must see the slot holder get a minimum of 40 per cent of the prizemoney.
There is only a maximum of two ACT-trained horses to be permitted in the final field. Any country trainer that has a metropolitan or provincial training base as well is ineligible to contest the race.
Horses must be transferred to a country trainer prior to July 1 to be eligible.
Monday: Wagga (TAB)
Friday: Wagga (TAB)
Tuesday: Leeton (TAB)
Friday: Wagga (TAB)