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Waller praises apprentice Lee Magorrian

Australia’s top jockeys are at his beck and call, but Chris Waller is reserving some of his highest praise of the spring for an Irish-born apprentice.

Lee Magorrian first joined Sydney’s premier trainer on a two-week scholarship in August last year and soon Waller recommended he relocate permanently from New Zealand.

But after a slow start, Magorrian is starting to make inroads.

So much so, heading into Friday’s night meeting at Canterbury, Magorrian has had six city winners from 27 rides in 2017-18, a 22.20 per cent strike rate that only Hugh Bowman betters in Sydney with 24.20 per cent.

Magorrian notched his first city double at Randwick last Saturday with Improvement and the Waller-trained Mortar Platoon.

However, it was his ride on another horse, Sambro, that caught Waller’s eye.

“You’ve got some of the best jockeys in the world riding for our stable, Joao Moreira, Hugh Bowman … other jockeys, and Lee rode that horse to perfection,” Waller said.

Waller attributed Magorrian’s rich vein of form to self-belief finally complementing the 23-year-old’s work ethic.

“Nothing has changed, it’s just a little bit of confidence has seen his results go from one extreme to the other,” Waller said.

“It’s well deserved because he could have easily packed his bag and gone back home.

“It’s good to see him getting some wins because we can now repay him because owners are willing to put him on. You’ll see a lot of Lee in the next six months.”

Magorrian has two rides at Canterbury and a book of five at Randwick that includes Group One-winning sprinter Takedown in the Filante Handicap.

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