Nick Heywood rode Lautrec in his first competitive ride for father Chris Heywood in 2013. Fast forward 4 years and the 21 year old former Harden man has continued to excel in in the world of thoroughbred racing. He has just celebrated 200 wins in his short career with a treble at Newcastle on November 4.
Heywood guided Pretty Fast and Poetic Charmer home for the Snowden stable and Good Weather home for Richard Butler.
Heywood’s form continued the next day at Goulburn when he rode Territorial home by 1.3 lengths before heading back to Newcastle on November 11 to guide Fuchu home in Race 7.
Heywood said “it’s another achievement and good to win 200, but it is very hard being a jockey, I don’t mind the travel, it is having to waste to keep my weight down which is very hard to do.”
Heywood like many other jockeys endures a strict regime of exercise, weight loss and dietary conditions to participate in the sport.
Well-known Jockey Kody Nestor hung up his saddle in early November after battling weight issues for a number of years. 27 year old Nestor was involved in a horrific fall which made national headlines at Mudgee in 2015. His weight went above 70kg during his rehabilitation and he admitted it “killed” him to get back to the 56kg mark.
Heywood will be heading to Gundagai on Friday where he will no doubt pick up several rides on Snake Gully Cup Day.
He won the race as a 19 year old apprentice in 2015 abroad the 20 to 1 longshot Zero To Ten. The then 6 year old gelding by Danzero didn’t dissappoint in the wet conditions. Heywood sat just off leader Lampedusa in second place before taking off at the 600 metre mark and taking the lead 400 metres from home on the Jim Scobie trained horse, before holding off Just A Blur.
He has since gone on to win $4,671,238 for the connections of the horses he rides.
The Snake Gully Cup has drawn 34 nominations in the 12 horse field. First prize is $37,750 with $1000 paid up to 10th place.
Heywood’s career has taken him to courses in Victoria Metro and Country where he has had 125 rides with 16 starts in the nation’s capital. He has had over 1200 starts in NSW Country whilst also notching up over 230 starts in NSW Metro, where he has since ridden in listed and Group 2 company.
Saturday will see Heywood back at Kembla Grange before heading to Canberra on Sunday.
There are a number of locals travelling down to Gundagai with reports two buses are already full. Well done Nick your success is a testament to your hard work.