The Young Champion - Patrick Wadge

Features | 24th April 2024

Patrick Wadge’s rise towards being crowned Champion Conditional Jockey has been anything but an overnight success story

If At First You Don't Succeed

22-year-old Patrick Wadge will receive his trophy at Sandown’s Jumps Finale meeting on Saturday, alongside the champion jockey, trainer and owner.

It has been superb season for Patrick. He sailed past last year’s total of 29 winners in February and he has continued to impress with his tactical judgement and strength in a finish.

Such success didn’t always come easily.

Patrick, who is attached to dual Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell’s stable, had the slowest of starts to his career in the saddle and has had to take the patient approach.

It took him 63 rides to notch up his winner on Petite Rhapsody at Perth in April 2022. He even considered packing it all when his frustrations peaked.

Showing the determination needed to succeed in the tough world of jump racing, he has developed into the brightest young talent of the season.

Flower of Scotland

Patrick joined Lucinda’s yard near Kinross, to the south of Perth, five years ago following in his brother Cameron’s footsteps. His older sibling was an amateur jockey and is now one of Lucinda’s assistant trainers.

Despite growing up in Gretna surrounded by horses – his parents ran a livery yard and were involved in eventing – Patrick’s rise through the ranks has been something of a slow burner.

With the backing of Lucinda, her partner eight-times champion jockey Peter Scudamore and riding coach Brian Harding, his patience has paid off in some style.

A breakthrough season last year, saw him entrusted with the ride on star mare and subsequent Grade 1 winner Apple Away in a Doncaster Listed race despite not being able to utilise his weight allowance.

He has also struck up an excellent partnership with Trapain Law. The pair have teamed up for five victories over the last 18 months and they finished second in a Grade 3 chase at Ayr’s Scottish Grand National meeting last weekend.

Illustrious Footsteps

In lifting the conditional jockeys’ title, Patrick not only advertises his own obvious ability, but it also shows the healthy state of racing in Scotland.

He is the third rider from Scotland to claim the prestigious title in the last dozen years, following Craig Nichol (2016) and Lucy Alexander (2013).

It is an illustrious list with the likes of Sean Bowen, Harry Cobden and Bryony Frost all adding their names to the roll of honour in recent years.

That trio all went on to establish themselves in the top bracket of professional jockeys.

With the might of Lucinda’s increasingly-powerful yard behind him and the support of other trainers across Scotland and the north of England, we will be hearing an awful lot more of Patrick Wadge in the future.