A huge boost for Tasmania’s jockeys ranks with news that champion jockey Craig Newitt is returning to live in Tasmania.
“We’ve been thinking about it for a while, we’ve got four kids now, it’s a lifestyle choice,” Newitt said. It’s only a 40 minute flight, so if I need to I can still fly back to Melbourne to ride mid-week or Saturday.
” We could have made the move three years ago but I always had a good Group horse to keep me here,” Newitt said from Melbourne. “I’ve had a good run, been really fortunate.”
Newitt has stamped himself as one of Australia’s finest riders, he started his career with Leon Wells at Devonport before transferring his apprenticeship to Lee Freedman in 2002. He has ridden 35 Group One winners and has been associated with some great horses.
“Pompeii Ruler was probably the best horse I have ridden, but there were some great sprinters like Miss Andretti, Lankan Rupee, Samaready and Extreme Choice who could have been the best but he was retired at three.”
Newitt’s career has taken him to all parts of the world, he rode Pompeii Ruler on World Cup Night in Dubai and won the King Stand Stakes on Miss Andretti at Royal Ascot. ” I was probably too young to realise how big that was, it’s certainly something to be proud of.” Newitt also had a successful riding stint in Singapore in 2014.
Just last week Newitt and his wife Karli celebrated the birth of their fourth child Reign, and along with Noah 8, Chase, 6 and Casey, 5, the family hopes to be resettled in Tasmania in the next six to eight weeks.
“We will probably live in the north west, especially with the planned redevelopment of the Hobart track next year, we will just rent while we look for the right set up,” Newitt said.
Newitt will begin riding in Tasmania at the end of September.