The old saying goes, ‘a change is as good as a holiday’ and for Zac Spain the move to Victoria is paying dividends for the young hoop who brought up his tenth winner of the new season yesterday at Cranbourne.
Spain relocated to Cranbourne in July to join the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young stable, on loan from Lloyd Kennewell.
“I moved across in July to gain more experience and improve my riding. I’ve been really lucky so far and have been given so many great opportunities.”
“Life in Cranbourne is good. It’s quite relaxed but at the same time you have to work hard. I’ve been riding trackwork for Trent and Natalie a few days a week there and they’ve put me on some really good horses and have been great with everything.”
The hard work has been paying off for Spain who brought up his tenth winner for the season on Wednesday aboard the Busuttin & Young trained Deported at Cranbourne.
“It’s amazing to have ridden ten winners already in Victoria. Coming up against jockeys like Damian Lane, Damien Oliver and Luke Nolen throws you a bit but this is what you strive for.”
“Even the apprentices over here are of such high quality. You’ve got guys like Ben Thompson, Ben Allen and Beau Mertens all riding regularly and it is a bit daunting at first but everyone helps each other out in the rooms, it’s great.”
The move to join the Busuttin & Young stable has also come at a great time for Spain with the stable having a couple of high quality horses in form at the moment with big Spring Carnival campaigns in sight.
Spain has a perfect record on their three-year-old gelding, Sully who will contest the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
“It’s a big thrill to be on a horse like Sully. Trent and Natalie have always had a big opinion of him since bringing him over from New Zealand. He’s been super impressive but still a bit green on my two wins on him.”
“He showed a lot of ability in the two runs with Ben Thompson aboard prior to me getting on but just came up against some really good horses like the Caulfield Guineas favourite, Royal Symphony.”
While Corey Brown will ride the $9.50 chance Sully in the Gloaming on Saturday, Spain will partner the talented stayer Anaheim, in the Lojac Civil Handicap over 1800m at Caulfield on Saturday.
The four-year-old ran on strongly for Spain last start and is nominated for The Metropolitan and Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
“He was great first-up, coming home strong from the back of the field and a wide gate. It’s great that Trent and Natalie have the confidence in me to put me on him in a race like this.”
While in Melbourne, Spain has also managed to ride a winner for the ‘First Lady of Racing,’ Gai Waterhouse, wining on Our Crown Mistress at Sale.
“I’ve been riding trackwork for Gai once a week at Flemington and was thrilled to get the opportunity to ride Our Crown Mistress at Sale. I’d love to stay on her for future rides but we’ll see as she’s set for bigger races in spring.”
Spain came over to Victoria wanting to ride as many winners as he could but after a successful start, his goals have slightly changed.
“I’d love to ride a few city winners here. I understand it gets a bit tougher during the Spring Carnival but I’ll do my best to get the rides and see what happens. I’m here for the opportunity and experience and I’m loving it so far.”
But while Spain is thriving after his move across the border, there are still plenty of things he’s missing about Adelaide.
“Obviously my girlfriend Eran (Boyd) is still back home but she’s been coming over quite a lot with her injury lay off but I’m also missing the extra down time I had back home that I could spend with my mates like Jake (Toeroek), Dylan (Caboche) and Sairyn (Fawke). I have made a lot of mates here which is great and has helped a lot but I’m over here to work hard and I’m absolutely loving it at the moment.”