MORNINGTON-based apprentice jockey, Matthew Cartwright, rode his first winner in just his third career race at Swan Hill on Tuesday 29 October.
Hopping aboard the Dean Krongold-trained mare Miss Inception, Cartwright sat just outside the leader before kicking clear in the straight to win under hands-and-heels riding.
The stable apprentice to his mother and grandmother, Leonie Proctor and Lyn Tolson, and son of former jockey, Rikki Cartwright, the up-and-coming hoop seemed destined to follow a similar path to his family in horse racing.
But to score his first win so early in his career is a feat in itself.
“I was over the moon to get my first winner so early and to get the opportunity off Dean to do it was great – there’s no better feeling really,” Mattehw Cartwright said.
An avid motocross rider as well, the 17-year-old eventually got hooked into horse racing from watching his father Rikki race across the state.
“I’ve been around the horses my whole life and I just got more into it over time and began to ride trackwork,” Matthew said. “Because I was light it just pushed me even more into wanting to become a jockey because I love riding horses.”
Cartwright, who comfortably walks around at 49.5kg, has been riding trackwork for the past three years and now also works for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace at Caulfield every Monday and Tuesday.
The hoop said he’s obviously found riding in races different to riding trackwork, but with the more experience he’s having, the more comfortable he’s feeling under race pressure.
“My first ride was at Yarra Valley over 1000m and it was great – I loved every bit of it,” he said. “We jumped well and wanted to roll forward but there were a few others that also wanted to, so we got caught wide throughout, but I had a good experience and had fun out there.
“I’ve made a few mistakes but just the more rides and more experience I’m having, it’s just helping me to improve, so hopefully we can get another win on the board sometime soon.”