A quiet season by Samantha Wynne’s standards turned into an unforgettable one recently when the Riccarton-based jockey starred in a dual role at Wingatui.
Wynne saddled her first runner as a trainer last Friday and earned a dose of double delight when she also took the reins to guide Fettercairn to a dominant front-running victory in Rating 74 company over 1600m.
“It was a really proud moment and I was proud of the horse more than anything, it was nice to get the job done for everybody,” she said.
Wynne has enjoyed a close association with Fettercairn having sourced the mare in 2019 and ridden the daughter of Highly Recommended, who was formerly prepared by Stephen Marsh, in all three of her wins.
“When I was injured, I did an ACL, and was a bit bored so I went on to Gavelhouse and bought her for $900,” she said.
“She was never handled and I had to break her in. I was working for Stephen at the time and he took her on. I worked with her so I’ve had an association with her all the way through with Marsh Racing.”
Wynne has only ridden 21 winners this term, her personal best was 71 in the 2016-17 term, due to suspensions and COVID-19 and her entry into the training ranks came about due to personal circumstances.
“The only reason I am training her is that I didn’t get vaccinated and I couldn’t go to the track. The owners wanted her to go where I went so I had her at the private training property of my father-in-law Shane Laming,” she said.
“I got my training licence not long ago so that was her first start in my name at Wingatui.”
Wynne left nothing to chance aboard Fettercairn, who jumped quickly to make the running and stayed on strongly in the run home to score by three-quarters of a length.
“I’ve always wanted to train and when I wasn’t allowed to ride it gave me something to do,” she said.
“Circumstances at the time brought it all about. She’s quite a quirky mare and is named after the area where I am from and my friends and family are in the ownership so it’s been quite sentimental.”
Fettercairn is the only horse Wynne has in her name and the four-year-old has now earned a rest.
“She’s going to go out for a break and while she’s out I am going to head to Ireland for a few weeks for a spell as well,” she said.
“She has brought so much happiness to everybody involved, she’s very special to me and to everyone who has backed me and I was very happy to repay them.”
Wynne will focus on her riding when she returns to New Zealand, but won’t be averse to furthering her training career on a limited scale.
“I’ll get back and then have a full season of riding. I’m always open to opportunities though and I like paying attention to detail,” she said.
“I wouldn’t want too many, but at the same time I wouldn’t turn any away. Fettercairn is my pride and joy and I would like to treat them all the same way.”