IN Racing
Stackhouse to ride at New Zealand Cup Week
Ex-pat Kiwi jockey Daniel Stackhouse is making a tour home to the South Island for the last two days of New Zealand Cup Week.
NZ Racing Desk | October 24, 2022
Ex-pat Kiwi jockey Daniel Stackhouse. Photo: Ross Holburt Racing Photos

Ex-pat Kiwi jockey Daniel Stackhouse is making a whistlestop tour home to the South Island from his Victorian base to ride on the last two days of New Zealand Cup Week (November 9 and 12).

Stackhouse has proven himself in Australia after beginning his career in New Zealand and currently sits sixth on the Victorian jockeys’ premiership with 23 wins, four at metropolitan level.

Stackhouse has made his home in Victoria for the past 11 years and is determined to fill a hole in his CV by riding a Group One winner, an opportunity he believes could come in New Zealand.

“I’ve had a pretty good run since I started here in Victoria but I just haven’t been able to crack that elusive Group One winner,” he said.

“I’ve gone pretty close on a number of occasions including finishing third on The Chosen One in the Caulfield Cup (Gr.1, 2400m) and then fourth on him in the Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m) at his next start.

“The dream is always to compete in those bucket list races and to be able to get a win would be a dream come true.

“It is so competitive in the riding ranks over here that even getting a ride in a Group One is tough so I’m hoping that by coming home for some of the big races and carnivals in New Zealand, it might pave the way to achieve that.

“The week of the Riccarton Carnival coincides with a quiet period over here so I thought why not come over and try my luck.”

A born and bred South Islander, Stackhouse’s initial involvement with horses was through showjumping, however, a job riding trackwork for trainers Sharon and Ricky Donnelly soon got a young Stackhouse hooked on racing and a career in the saddle ensued.

“I progressed from riding track work and started my apprenticeship and then I went up to Te Akau to work for Mark Walker at Matamata for a year.

“I got a bit heavy so I came home and had a bit of time off working on my Dad’s farm. Then I went to Tommy (Hazlett) and Pam’s (Gerard) and started riding over jumps.

“My weight started to get better so I began to ride on the flat again.”

A permanent move to Victoria came about following the recommendation of Australian trainer Peter Moody, who saw his talent and has seen Stackhouse ride over 900 winners in his career so far with prizemoney earned moving past the A$30 million mark.

His connection with Gerard, who operates Mike Moroney’s Ballymore Stables base at Matamata, and Hazlett will be put to good use at Riccarton with Hazlett engaged to book his rides for the two days he is in attendance.

“It will be great to catch up with Tommy and Pam again, plus my friends and family down in the South Island,” Stackhouse said.

“Tommy is doing my rides for me and I will hopefully get some from Ballymore, as I do a lot of trackwork and raceday riding for Mike Moroney over here in Melbourne.

“I was also talking with Shane Kennedy the other day while he was in town, so I’m keen to ride a couple for him and Anna Furlong as well.

“I can’t actually pinpoint who I am on but knowing the quality of horses that those stables produce, I’m excited about what opportunities there may be.”

Stackhouse is also confident he has his weight well under control, although he knows when he is back at home with his parents the temptation to indulge in some good home cooking will be one he has to manage.

“I rode at 52.5kgs in the Caulfield Cup last week (12th on Chapada) and I’m really happy with where my weight is,” he said.

“Mind you I will have to watch things when I’m in New Zealand as the temptation will be there to overindulge a little.

“Mum is a great cook, who makes a mean vege soup, so I’ll be having plenty of that to keep things under control.” 

Daniel Stackhouse New Zealand Cup week The Chosen One Mark Walker Ricky Donnelly Mike Moroney Ballymore Stables Peter Moody Hazlett Anna Furlong Shane Kennedy