Most top apprentices entering their first year as a fully fledged jockey take time to hit their straps, but Tyler Schiller is off to a flying start.
The former champion junior rider has already booted home 19 city winners just two-and-a-half months into the racing term and sits third on the Sydney jockeys’ premiership, trailing joint leaders James Mcdonald and Nash Rawiller by one.
While Schiller has been without an allowance for some time, transitioning into Sydney’s senior riding ranks and maintaining momentum during peak carnival periods is no easy task.
But he has managed it seamlessly, landing a double at the Everest Day meeting aboard Front Page in The Kosciuszko and international Land Legend in the St Leger Stakes, and winning the Tapp-Craig a week earlier on promising filly Makarena.
“I’ve had a terrific start. My first month was really quick and it has probably tapered off a tiny bit, but it has been better than what I thought,” Schiller said.
“I didn’t set any little goals, I mainly set a long-term goal that I wanted to ride one hundred winners for the season, metro.
“I’ve been going to every track (to ride work)….mostly Warwick Farm and Rosehill have been my main focus point and a little bit of Hawkesbury because I live out this way.
“That was the plan when I came out of my time, to work for everyone and see who put me on race days and try to support the ones who are supporting me.”
Humble and unaffected, Schiller is also a gifted horseman and his appeal is obvious in the spread of trainers booking him for rides.
On Saturday at Randwick, he has mounts in all 10 races for seven different conditioners, including Hawkes Racing, the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace yard, and Chris Waller.
He has a trio for the latter headed by Democracy Manifest in the $1 million Five Diamonds Prelude (1500m), the pair finishing a luckless last-start fourth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) when the horse was bailed up for a run.
Democracy Manifest has drawn barrier 12 on Saturday and Schiller hopes that might play into the backmarker’s hands.
“He hasn’t had much luck with the draw on Saturday, but I don’t think that will matter because he will get back and flash home late anyway,” Schiller said.
“He showed in the Epsom he is a genuine Group One horse. It’s a pretty good field, the Five Diamonds Prelude, but only being restricted to five-year-olds probably gives him a good opportunity to win a big race.”
Schiller reunites with stablemate Special Swey in the Big Dance Wild Card (1600m), the first time he has ridden the former New Zealander since steering him to an all-the-way win in the Rough Habit Plate (2000m) during the Brisbane winter carnival.
The horse’s form this preparation has been patchy, but he was better last start when runner-up in the Port Macquarie Cup and Schiller might just be his lucky charm.
“I’m hoping so. He has been a bit hit and miss lately,” Schiller said.
“I thought his run in the Port Macquarie Cup at Taree was very good but before that he seemed to be doing a few things wrong, over-racing and just not finishing his races off, so hopefully we can get him to relax early and finish off.”
With Rawiller suspended and James McDonald riding at Caulfield on Saturday, Schiller will have an ideal opportunity to again make his mark at Randwick where a win will give him a share of the premiership lead and put him well on his way to reaching his 100-winner goal.
– RAS NewsWire