Muhcu hit­ting heights

Mercury (Hobart) - - RACING - PETER STA­PLES

JOCKEY Bu­lent Muhcu has taken his suc­cess in the sad­dle to a new level this sea­son and it hasn’t come about by chance.

Muhcu ar­rived in Tas­ma­nia as a Turk­ish im­port about six years ago and in that time, he has de­vel­oped into one of the state’s most ac­com­plished rid­ers.

Al­most five years ago, when still an ap­pren­tice, Muhcu re­turned from Turkey on a soul-search­ing mis­sion that served two pur­poses.

One was to let his fam­ily see how suc­cess­ful he had be­come as a rider and sec­ond to see if he was do­ing what he wanted to do with his life.

Muhcu re­turned to the state and set about carv­ing a ca­reer, but ear­lier this year he re­turned to Turkey to visit fam­ily. While away he made a de­ci­sion that has so far yielded great re­wards.

“I de­cided to fi­nally do all the things I need to do to make me the best pos­si­ble rider I can be,” Muhcu said.

“I am more ded­i­cated to track­work rid­ing and I also have con­cen­trated on my fit­ness. I have al­ways been a good studier of form, but I have taken that to a new level, and it is all start­ing to pay off.”

Muhcu fin­ished sixth on the jockey’s premier­ship ta­ble last sea­son with 31 wins but al­ready he has amassed 19 wins this sea­son to be ly­ing sec­ond be­hind Craig Ne­witt on 26. Muhcu rode a treble in Launce­s­ton on Wed­nes­day night and two of those wins re­sulted from him es­cap­ing from what looked non-win­ning po­si­tions.

A year ago, he wouldn’t have found a way to win those races, which proves what a pos­i­tive fo­cus can do to a ca­reer. Muhcu was ap­pren­ticed to Broad­marsh train­ers Wal­ter and Bren­dan McShane, who took him and treated him as part of their fam­ily and that helped form the tal­ented young rider is to­day.

Muhcu’s winners on Wed­nes­day were Need A Bella in a maiden for Long­ford trainer Peter Lut­trell, Heaven’s De­light for Gary White in a bench­mark 66 hand­i­cap over 1400m, and he ended the meet­ing with a pearl of a ride aboard Stor­mont.

“Ev­ery­thing’s go­ing well but I know I can get bet­ter and as long as I stay fo­cused, I’m sure ev­ery­thing will fall into place.”

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