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Journeyman apprentice makes Sydney grade

Perseverance has paid off for Lee Maggorian with the former award-winning New Zealand apprentice celebrating his first Sydney win by underscoring trainer Chris Waller’s dominance at Warwick Farm’s midweek meeting.

The Irish-born rider steered $28 outsider Pianissimo home ahead of stablemate Pound Sterling ($5.50) to give the 22-year-old renewed confidence after regular battles with weight issues.

The apprentices’ only race over 1200 metres was a heat of the Rising Stars series with Maggorian emerging with the kudos aboard Waller’s fifth winner for the day.

Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth credited Maggorian, who was the Auckland Apprentice School’s premier rider in 2015/16, for his persistence since spending a fortnight with Waller’s Rosehill-based operation last October.

“He’s here to make a proper go of it. He’s got his mental state and weight right,” Duckworth said.

“I think he would kill himself just to ride one light ride rather than sustaining a nice natural light weight throughout the week.”

Duckworth said Maggorian returned home to New Zealand briefly and a promising ride was enough to convince him to come back.

“He seems in great shape now and hopefully he can make a proper go of it now and when the big boys go up to Queensland he can have a solid attempt at taking on the second-tier jockeys in Sydney.” Duckworth said.

Maggorian said Wednesday’s win had boosted his confidence.

“I was just training too hard. I had a break for a bit and I’ve come back a bit stronger. Hopefully I can stay here,” he said.

Pianissimo scored by three-quarters of a length while Express Point ($3.50) was another 2-1/4 lengths third.

Waller’s other winners were Sweet Adaline, Gretna, Egg Tart and Nothing Box.

Egg Tart’s third win from five starts has her on a path to the Group One Schweppes Oaks in Adelaide next month.

“She’s got a touch of class about her,” Duckworth said.

Warwick Farm trainer Jason Coyle also had a moment to savour when six-year-old gelding More Energy won for the first time on his new home track by claiming a Benchmark (2400m) by a short head over Paragon.

“He had the grounding there. The query was always going to be the real soft track. He was fit enough and good enough to get there,” Coyle said.

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