Ryan Maloney’s victory aboard the Tony Golan-trained Skirt the Law in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic earlier this month was another significant notch in the record for feature race wins by a rider whose life has been a dramatic, friendly, hard-working and good one. Considerable change has been observed. in the last four years.
Two decisions, backed by a lot of commitment and talent, paved the way for Maloney’s success.
The first big call, which came in June 2018, was a brave call made in not the best of circumstances.
Maloney was about to come off a four-month suspension imposed by the Racing Victoria stewards for the use of a banned stimulant, although he would only recognize it later, he had not been in a good place mentally for some time. Jockeys in Victoria are a significant contributing factor to what she later described as ‘burnout’.
Taking an offer from Toby Edmonds and moving to the Gold Coast was the first life-changing decision that would help revitalize both Maloney’s career and her well-being.
Maloney said, “I was riding a horse in Melbourne for Toby Edmonds who won the Cox Plate on the day and I think that’s what fueled our association.”
“That planted the seed…and, at that point when Toby offered me the opportunity to join him, I thought I had nothing to lose, so I had a crack and never looked back.
“The fact that I was moving to a good stable (Edmunds were second in the Brisbane premiership table at the time), I think made the decision easier, but it was originally made on the basis that I had nothing to lose.”
It wasn’t just a change of location and family lifestyle for Maloney… It was a major change of professional workload… A welcome lesson in the daily grind and stress that can tire jockeys.
“It was basically seven days a week in Victoria,” Maroney explained. “There is constant trackwork and testing… race meetings… night meetings and the amount of traveling you have to do, so even when you had a day off from racing you were either testing or doing trackwork.
“Throughout this period of change, I gained a better understanding of myself and now know when I need to take time off.”
Maloney’s second big call came during the peak of the Covid pandemic… another important decision that would help take his career to a new level.
“It happened when Covid hit. It was leading into the Winter Carnival and we had to choose the zones we were going to ride in,” Maloney explained.
“I told Toby I was going to change my field. I asked Tony (Golan) if there was a spot for me and he said yes.
“The opportunities that came along were a natural progression from there.
“Besides Tony and others, I won all of the first four rides I did for David Vandyke … so there was a good connection right away … and then, I haven’t looked back.
‘Obviously, if you’re riding for top stables, you’re always going to be in that prime position … and I’ve been lucky to have the opportunities I’ve had with good horses and a good manager to be there. reached.
“It’s really all that has helped me, not least the fact that I’m enjoying my time in Queensland, a fact which has had a positive effect on my mindset and my riding.
It’s not just a question of seizing opportunities… more importantly, it’s a question of making the most of them.
Maloney won his first premiership when he took out the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership with twenty-seven winners in the 2020/21 season.
With Skirt the Law’s win in January among many other credits, Maloney is only the third rider, after Hugh Bowman and James McDonald, to win both the $2 Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic and the $2 Million Magic Millions Three-Year-Old. -Old Guinness. (Alligator blood was later disqualified from Guinness, but that final result is still under review in court proceedings and has not yet been finalized).
“The Magic Millions race-day has given me my best and my worst results,” Maloney said.
“The wins were obviously “high”, but, when I rode Isotope in the Guineas … when I was looking for back-to-back wins in 2021 to race on a favorite … I was on top of the horse.” Was evicted outright.
“Low” doesn’t get much lower than this.
“You can sometimes have a worse problem than that in a race, but you just clip a heel and it takes it away in a race like this. It was very unfortunate.”
“The cool thing about the Isotope story is that we came back and won $1 pieces at the same meeting a year later … and that was really, really satisfying.
“As far as Alligator Blood is concerned, I still talk to (owners) Jeff and Robin Simpson fairly regularly and Alan (Andresz) frequently.
“All I can say is that with the horse having to change stables and undergo a serious operation and now the court case, it is great to see what Alligator Blood has done.
‘It was written to him. It is just testament to the horse what he has been able to achieve since his return. I think it is great.
‘As for Skirt the Law’s win… it was a perfect race. And yes, I will be with her all the way.
“Tony (Golan) was very confident before the race, and I felt the same … one hundred percent. Tony is great at spotting him day and night. He’s just a top trainer all around.
“He knows his horses inside out… It’s very hard to do when you have a big team of horses. He knows where to put them, when to back them up, when to push them to their limits.” He’s as good a trainer as any and obviously being a part of that team is great for me.
“The Skirt the Law win was a big highlight.”
Like any top jockey, Maloney makes fewer mistakes than his rivals and has a decision-making process that fuels that success… whether it’s in terms of judging pace, getting the right runs, etc. .. Maloney has a firm foundation in his own ability and confidence in being able to deliver the goods.
“It’s like they say, you can’t buy experience,” Maloney said.
‘You must be nervous or not confident when you haven’t already done the necessary… crossing the T’s and doting the I’s. All that nervousness goes away when you know what’s beneath you, especially when riding good horses for good trainers.
“You can still make mistakes, obviously, but now with my riding in the big races, I’ve got the experience to help me deal with things as they unfold … It definitely gives you a little bit of awareness.” That’s what could happen… and I’m comfortable with where I am.
“But the bottom line is that I’m really satisfied with my life now, both personally and professionally.
“We’ve just bought a ten-acre property near Canungara … and just being there makes it easy to switch off. It is peaceful and it is quiet.
“If your life is off track then it becomes even easier for you to be satisfied when you are at work.”
Good advice from a man at the top of his game.
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