Owen returns to professional riding

The hottest hoop on the NSW picnic circuit is back riding with the professionals.

Canberra’s Billy Owen is better known more recently as the travelling foreman for Nick Olive, where he was tasked with trackwork for, and the care and attention of, recently retired Group 1 winner Single Gaze.

When he mounted High Tail It in the first race at Young on May 19, it had been six years since Owen had competed away from amateur ranks.

Owen (26) has always had a rap and this season at the picnics was riding at a strike rate of 60% and a profit on turnover of 45%.

Owen says weight and injures contributed to his original retirement as an apprentice. In October 2011 was involved in a serious fall at Albury, lucky to escape with just a broken collar bone and mild concussion.

Owen says he’s been riding at 62kgs on the picnic circuit and has now got his riding weight down to a comfortable 56kg.

He says a return to the bigger stage has always been on his mind and the retirement of Single Gaze has proved a catalyst for his return as a mature-aged apprentice with the Nick Olive stable.