VICTORIAN jockey Thomas Sadler wasted no time in booting home a winner for his new bosses when he steered progressive stayer Social Element to victory in the 2000-metre Maiden Plate at Saturday’s Beaumont track race meeting.
WINNER: Thomas Sadler scored with Social Element in race two at Newcastle.
Sadler, a former crack Victorian apprentice, has ridden 215 winners and he jumped at the chance to join the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott stable when Australian racing’s first lady offered him a position with Tulloch Lodge two weeks ago.
After riding his share of trackwork, Sadler was booked for his first ride for the Waterhouse-Bott stable on Saturday. Social Element, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old, put the writing on the wall with placings in his only two starts, at Newcastle and Hawkesbury.
It was the gelding’s first run over a middle distance and, after an opening price of $1.50, he drifted to $1.85 at barrier use.
Social Element didn’t jump well but 22-year-old Sadler made a mid-race move to sit outside the leader and he controlled the race from then on. He dashed clear in the straight and was strong to the line to win by 1.65 lengths.
It was Sadler’s first ride for the day and he was rapt.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better result,’’ he said. “Mrs Waterhouse offered me a full-time job riding trackwork and I am grateful.
“I had a number of suspensions in Victoria and I took a long break. I am around 57 kilograms but can probably get down to 55.
“Social Element is a lovely horse and a promising stayer.
“I walked the track before the meeting and I thought the best part of the track was at least six or seven horses off the rail in the straight.”
Sydney trainer Mark Newnham enjoyed a cracking start to the new season with Mission Tycoon ($5.50), a $50,000 buy at an Inglis Melbourne yearling sale.
She was never in danger in the 1150-metre Maiden, cruising home by close to two lengths.
Kris Lees’s former New Zealand mare Karavali resumed from a five-month spell to win herfirst race in this country on Saturday.
She firmed from $4.80 to $3.20 on Saturday and won the Class 2 Handicap (1350 metres) by two lengths.