AFTER a long wait for the arrival of his first child, Sam Hyland found it hard to leave Melbourne yesterday to come to Warrnambool.
His partner Nicole Taylor gave birth to their son William James Hyland last Friday. The carnival ambassador revealed his partner was due to give birth on Anzac Day, however William was born a week late.
Hyland’s son’s middle name is a tribute to Jim Moloney, his father Pat’s mentor, who Sam calls Uncle Jim.
Throughout the week Hyland will present winning owners with their prizes and also spoke at Monday night’s Australian Jumping Racing Association function.
“I’m very passionate about racing,” Hyland said.
“I still have a lot of family down here in Warrnambool. My cousins are Simon and Pat Ryan.”
Hyland said the carnival is a great chance for friends to catch up.
“There is a good vibe that carries throughout the week.
“People come once and then they come back year after year. It is an important thing for the town. A lot of people you only see once a year at the carnival.”
Hyland has a fondness for the May races after winning the Warrnambool Cup aboard Asagain in 1998 and Video Star in 2008.
He retired from riding five years ago and is now a trackwalker with Racing Victoria.
“I walk around the track in the morning and make the first initial assessment,” he said.