By Abby Delucyk
Being born into a racing family Jake Hull, 30, was determined to follow in his family’s footsteps and one day, jump in the saddle himself. “I remember running around as a three-year-old with dad’s whip and pretending that the lounge was a racehorse,” Jake recalls. With cousin Josh Parr and brother Ben Hull already established in the industry, Jake quickly found his way in and struck success at a young age.
“I was about 13 when I moved to Mudgee to ride track work before moving to Gosford at 15 to start my apprenticeship with Grant Allard. I knew I would always struggle with my weight as I was taller so wanted to start trackwork riding as early as possible,” Jake said.
Despite Jake’s tall frame posing a threat to his riding, he started race riding at the ripe age of 15. “In all my career my most memorable ride would have to be on my 18th birthday when I rode in my first Group 1 in the 2011 Queensland Oaks on board Nayana,” he said.
As Jake’s success built, so did his injury list. It wasn’t until a race meeting at Gosford that Jake decided to call time on his riding career after wasting all week.
“I had a fair few stints on the sidelines due to weight and race falls during my time. My body really started to feel the effects of extreme dieting and I had niggling injuries which just kept coming back. So, I decided that it was time to give riding away,” Jake said.
With Jake’s time in the saddle drawing to a close, this decision didn’t come lightly for Hull. “It was really hard to call time on my career and quite difficult once I stopped riding to be honest. I really missed my mates in the jockey room and the banter. There was still a will to ride but my body just wouldn’t allow me to do it anymore,” Jake said.
Although this decision was tough, Jake was fortunate enough to gain employment with John O’Connor at his world-class training centre at Feale Park. Slotting into an Assistant Trainer role, this made the transition easier for Jake.
“I always knew my time in the saddle was limited so I wanted to become a trainer after. I had to work hard to get this opportunity and I’m just grateful that John put a lot of trust into me.”
“As a trainer there is a lot of obstacles and hurdles you have to juggle as you are working with horses who can be very temperamental. You want everything to go right and get the best results out of your horses,” Jake details.
Over the next few months, Jake spent time developing his training skills under the guidance of John O’Connor. As his hard work started to show, Jake pushed through the nerves and decided to go out on his own.
Training out of Feale Park, Jake developed his own stable which now has more than 30 horses in work.
Remembering his first runner, Rejinsky who ran 4th at Warwick farm in late 2022, Jake recalls, “It was a big thrill to have my first runner in Sydney and for him to run a really good race. A very nerve-wracking experience though.”
Jake dedicates his fast-tracked success to his previous years in the saddle. “Definitely having a riding background has helped me become a better trainer as I am actually able to do the main gallops myself and get a good feel of the horse. It’s a very good asset to have,” he said.
With Jake now settled and excelling in this new chapter, he looks to have consistent runners & winners at Sydney tracks, which all contributes to his ultimate goal of winning a Group 1 race.