Wiles jumping for joy after first win

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  • July 19, 2023
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It was a proud moment for Kylan Wiles on Saturday as he rode his first winner at Te Rapa in front of his family.

The 17-year-old jockey was having his 11th raceday ride aboard the Stephen Ralph-trained Tahuroa Height in the Taumarunui Racing Club @ Te Rapa 29/7 Hurdle (2800m).

The pair took the lead shortly after the first jump and never looked back, eventually running out 4-1/2 length victors.

Wiles’ father, trainer Dean Wiles, was trackside for the win, and Kylan said it was an emotional moment when he returned to scale.

“I was over the moon, it was the best feeling ever,” he said. “It almost brought Dad to tears, it was really good.”

Wiles said it was nice to get the win for Ralph, who he has known since he was a child.

“I have known Stephen Ralph since I was five-years-old and he has taught me a lot,” he said.

“I knew the horse had the capability, it was just whether the ground was right, and it was when he got the rain on the day.”

With a trainer for a father, Wiles has been surrounded by horses all of his life and he was itching to get in the saddle from the moment he went to the track.

“I have been brought up with racing through Dad. I went and watched the horses go around until it was finally my turn when I was 12-years-old and I got my first ride on the track. Ever since then I just haven’t stopped,” he said.

While Wiles dreamed of riding on the flat, it soon became apparent that he didn’t fit the stature and he pivoted to follow a new path as a jumps jockey.

“I always wanted to be a flat jockey, but weight got to me,” he said.

“I rode in amateur races for a bit and then I started jumping about two years ago. I have loved it and have had to wait a little bit (for my first win) but we are here now and it is great.”

Wiles left school a couple of years ago and has been enjoying working for his father, as well as a couple of other trainers, and said he holds aspirations of becoming a trainer in time.

“I finished school when I was 15 and have worked in racing since then for Dad and a few others like Kiltannon,” he said.

“I would love to be a trainer but my focus at the moment is being a jumps jockey and giving that a good crack.”

Next year Wiles is looking forward to being joined in the jumps jockey ranks by his older brother Corey, with the pair set to reenact scenes from their childhood.

“We had two little Shetland ponies and my brother Corey and I raced them around the top paddocks at our old farm pretending to be jockeys,” Wiles said.

“Corey is looking to go into jumps next year, he has just got to do one year of amateurs and he will be competing with me, which will be great.”

Meanwhile, Wiles is hoping to quickly add to his win tally when he heads to Trentham on Saturday to ride Tycoon Warrior in the Cody Singer Memorial Maiden Hurdle (2500m).

“I would love to get a win for Dad aboard Tycoon Warrior, he is my favourite horse. I rode him in my first gallop, my first ever race, and I would love to win on him,” Wiles said.

The Waikato hoop will head south a couple of days before to spend some time with leading jumps trainer Kevin Myers.

“He has got all of the facilities there so it will be nice to go down there and try and learn as much as I can,” Wiles said.

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