IN Racing
Bayliss hungry for more NZ success
A familiar Australian face has re-joined the New Zealand riding ranks with the arrival this week of multiple Group One-winning jockey Jake Bayliss.
NZ Racing Desk | December 21, 2022
Trish Dunell

A familiar Australian face has re-joined the New Zealand riding ranks with the arrival this week of multiple Group One-winning jockey Jake Bayliss.

He will kick off his third stint in New Zealand at Matamata on Friday with the 28-year-old coming off a rewarding 12-month contract in Singapore. Bayliss last rode in New Zealand in the 2018/19 season

“New Zealand has always been really good to me as far as support goes and I’ve made a lot of nice friends and I’m really looking forward to it and getting on some nice horses,” Bayliss said.

“Since I left, I feel like I have grown up and matured a lot from the young boy I was and more of an established rider now.

“I learned a lot riding in Queensland and in Singapore and have a lot more to bring to the table now.

“I’ll be living at Matamata on Sam Collett’s farm while she’s absent (in Queensland), but I’ll be spreading myself out to ride work at Cambridge as well.”

Bayliss would have been back here sooner but for attending to a family matter.

“I’ve always wanted to get back to New Zealand, but unfortunately I had to look after the family farm back in Australia when my grandfather fell ill,” he said.

“I stayed put in Queensland and Singapore was on the radar as well but everything was put on hold so I stayed there to ride.

“Once that settled down, I thought I’ll follow my dream and go up to Singapore and I was very lucky and grateful to get a 12-month licence.”

Bayliss made the most of his opportunities and exceeded all his expectations with 19 winners and multiple feature race victories.

“I pretty much ticked off every goal and won a (Singapore) Group One there, the Queen Elizabeth (1800m), and the Group Two Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) so I definitely achieved more there than was on my list of goals,” he said.

“Singapore was great and while the prizemoney might have dropped off a bit, but the way the percentages work over there it’s still financially better than Queensland.”

Bayliss enjoyed a close association with expatriate Kiwi horsewoman Donna Logan in Singapore and sought her advice about a New Zealand return and also received encouragement from another senior Te Akau identity.

“It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to come back to New Zealand again,” he said.

“I was riding for Donna in Singapore and asked her for her thoughts and she gave me a bit of a push to give Mark Walker a call as well.

“I’m not saying by any means that I’m here to ride for Mark, I just asked him what he thought about me coming over.

“After Singapore was wrapped up I went back to Queensland for two weeks to be with the family and an early Christmas and arrived here on Tuesday afternoon.”

Bayliss has again joined forces with riding agent Stu Laing after giving him a heads up about his return to New Zealand.

“I gave Stu a call while I was in Singapore to let him know it was on the radar and he thought it was a great idea and gave him the confirmation a week later,” he said.

“We had a very good partnership the last time I was here with good success and I’m really hoping to kick off the same way we left off.”

The lightweight Bayliss will be in action at Matamata and the focus will then turn to the premier meeting at Pukekohe on Boxing Day.

“I was pretty harsh on myself and rode 52.5kg in Singapore and over here I think I’ll stick to 53kg, but if any opportunity came up for a nice ride at 52.5kg by all means it would get done,” he said.

“The long-term goal for next year is to hopefully follow a few New Zealand horses over to the Brisbane carnival where home is and my next move after that is up in the air, I think I’ll just go with the flow.”

In the meantime, Bayliss is also hungry to add to his tally of prestige victories in New Zealand following his past success aboard the Graham Richardson and Gavin Parker-trained Volpe Veloce in the 2018 Gr.1 Railway (1200m).

During his second stint the following year, he won the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) with On The Rocks for Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard and the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) on Nicoletta for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

Andrew Forsman Cambridge Donna Logan Graham Richardson Jake Bayliss Mark Walker Matamata Michael Moroney Murray Baker Nicoletta On The Rocks Pam Gerard Queensland Sam Collett Singapore Stu Laing Te Akau Volpe Veloce