Thirteen-time champion Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte has spent the past week alongside Chris Waller as he prepares for his new career as a trainer later this year.
Whyte, 47 was nicknamed ‘the Durban Demon’ during his riding days and he’s spent the past three months travelling the world, to learn training methods from some of the best since announcing his retirement from the saddle in January.
Whyte started his international fact-finding mission, spending a fortnight with Mike de Kock in Dubai, six weeks in the UK with Sir Michael Stoute and William Haggas. In Australia it was a month with David Hayes’ Lindsay Park operation before coming to Sydney to spend time with Waller’s huge Rosehill team.
“Chris is one of the best and most professional. I think everybody knows that and his record speaks for itself,” Whyte said.
“To come and be his shadow, see what he does, how he operates and manages his team to be so successful at what he does. I’m taking everything back that I can.
“Chirs does everything very well but from a management, detailed and meticulous point of view I don’t think you’ll find may, if any better.
“This morning out at the trainers stand, we didn’t leave until nearly quarter to nine and others were gone at seven-thirty. He’s there checking over their feed, their weights, unbelievable, giving his thoughts on their work. He doesn’t stop.”
Whyte leaves Sydney on Thursday, heading for the sales at Deauville in France before returning home to prepare for his first intake of horses in around two months.
“I start taking horses mid-July and the first race meeting will be when the new season starts in September,” he said.
“It’s a real challenge that as a jockey I never really thought of. You think you’re going to ride forever when you winning premierships and do don’t think about what lies ahead after riding.
“As my career was going on and on, I thought what am I going to do when I’m done? And I wouldn’t know anything other than being around horses. I’ve dealt with them since I was two years old.
“It’s a new challenge and I love challenges. Ever time I’ve been faced with a challenge I’ve managed to get the better of it and rise above it.
“It’s a bit daunting but it puts another fire in me and I’m very eager.” – Racenet.com.au