AMBITIOUS: Ipswich-bred jockey Jake Bayliss.
AMBITIOUS: Ipswich-bred jockey Jake Bayliss. Rob Williams

Confident Jake in peak form for Ipswich Cup debut

FEELING confident, settled and prepared to travel, Jake Bayliss is entering the most exciting stage of his racing career.

While he's focused on enjoying his first Ipswich Cup Day as a jockey on Saturday, Bayliss is rich in ambition.

"I'm only 23 so I'm more than happy to travel and ride at different tracks and just chase where the good horses are,'' he said.

"I'm not really in any time to settle down at the moment. I'm more than happy to have saddle will travel.''

The Ipswich-bred hoop appreciates the support of top trainers like Robert Heathcote, who has prepared five-year-old gelding Privlaka for Bayliss to pilot in Saturday's $176,500 City of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes.

"Whatever is going around (in his stable), I'd be a chance of riding,'' he said.

Bayliss also has major rides on Skulduggery, in the $180,000 Ipswich Cup, and on Malmoosa in the $101,500 Gai Waterhouse Classic at Bundamba.

While Heathcote has a major supporter, Bayliss is also grateful for the encouragement and opportunities he received during a recent six-month stint in New Zealand.

He worked with leading trainers Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard, of Ballymore stables, and New Zealand's record-breaking jockey Lance O'Sullivan.

During the New Zealand carnival, Bayliss had successes at Group One and Group Two level, and rode three winners in Group Three races.

A highlight was winning aboard Volpe Veloce in the Group One New Zealand Railways Stakes at Ellerslie. That was in January.

"It came out as a successful stint,'' Bayliss said.

"Then I came to the Brisbane carnival with a few horses from New Zealand that were coming over here to try their luck.

"Things are going accordingly well and the weather is great and the prizemoney is really good at the moment.

"I'm more than happy to stick around for a lot longer than I actually scheduled in the Brisbane area.''

But after improving so much from his New Zealand stint, Bayliss is ready to chase bigger rides in southern venues.

"I've had plenty of good support, a great confidence boost from Mr Moroney and Lance O'Sullivan,'' Bayliss said.

"I got a lot of tips and a lot of strong criticism which really helped me become a better jockey.

"I think I'm at the peak of my career. I'm in career-best form.''