Jett preparing to shake up apprentice ranks in new season

Jett Stanley isn’t about to be intimidated by the strength of the Sydney apprentice ranks and is using the rest of this season to set the groundwork for his shot at the title in 2023/24.

The son of former top jockey, turned trainer, Brent Stanley has been based with Annabel Neasham since the start of April and the trainer is supplying the 19-year-old with the bulk of his key rides at Randwick on Saturday.

Stanley started his career in Perth with Grant and Alana Williams, where he rode his first winner just over two years ago, having been knocked back by the Victorian academy for being too tall and prior to coming to Sydney was part of the Mitchell Beer team at Albury.

"The plan is to be champion apprentice next season and hopefully I can do so with Ms Neasham's help, she's been a huge support so far,'' Stanley said.

"There's a big class of apprentices with Dylan Gibbons and Tyler Schiller, both Group 1 winning jockeys, Reece Jones who has won Group 2s and Group 3s and Zac Lloyd who is really on the rise.

"It makes you lift your game riding against them but as long as my confidence is up I know I can get the job done and compete with them and all the other jockeys."

Neasham has provided Stanley, who is closing on 100 career wins, with nine winners from just 31 rides and they will pair up with three winning chances at Randwick in Naval College, Healing Oasis and Plundering.

Naval College gave Stanley a very easy ride when he scored under 132lbs on the Kensington track on May 10 but the apprentice is expecting to have to a bit more work in the Swysh Handicap (2000m), where he was $5 with TAB on Thursday.

"He's a very promising horse. He had the easy barrier last start so I didn't have much to my only instruction was to not get held up,'' he said.

"I was able to produce him at the top of the straight and he got rolling at the end when he put them away. The 1 1⁄4 m will really suit him and we'll be able to see his true colours."

The gelding proved too strong for Queenmaker in that 1 1⁄8 m event and drops to 120lbs after the 7lbs claim, that mare ran out an easy winner at Canterbury during the week and Stanley has been rapt with his charge's work since.

"His work in between has been amazing,'' he said.

"The form lines up into him, barrier nine is probably the only sticky part but we'll be able to jump out and be in a handy spot."

Last time Stanley rode Healing Oasis he returned with mud on his face but with a big smile after guiding the imported mare to a first-up win in heavy ground at Rosehill a month ago.

He wasn't on board in the Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Scone but watched on as she finished close up behind More Prophets.

She'll carry a postage stamp on her back at Randwick and Stanley says that is a handy advantage in the Precise Fire Handicap (1400m).

"She ran a super race at Scone, she stuck on for fourth,'' he said.

"She's got 108lbs with my claim so she will go around with nothing on her back and will be able to go around and be competitive against high quality horses."

Plundering is no stranger to Stanley despite the Taylor Handicap (1200m) being his first official ride on the three-year-old, having put the horse through his paces during the week.

A winner of three from five, Plundering will drop 9lbs on his last start Kensington win.

"He galloped a treat on the grass at Warwick Farm and he's really stepping up into a nice horse,'' he said.

"I've been on his back a lot and he won super with Chad Schofield on board. He's looking to be a serious horse. He is a serious animal in trackwork and he's ready to show it on race day again."

Like his peers Zac Lloyd and Dylan Gibbons, Stanley says being the son of a successful jockey has given him a head start when it comes to the racing game.

But it can only take you so far, evidenced by having to travel to the west coast to make his start, and Stanley said his Group 1 winning father has been a huge asset despite not always being able to be by his side.

"When I was in Perth it was a struggle because he wanted to help me out when I was first starting but being so far away it was hard for him,'' he said.

"He's been huge support. He's the reason why I can read a race quite well, he's taught me to be patient and wait for runs.

"He's taught me everything about racing from when I was a baby until now. It's not just me winning it's him winning as well."

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