COFFS Harbour apprentice jockey Nicholas Perrett has experienced one of the highs of racing but has now come back to reality with six rides at today’s Port Macquarie TAB race meeting.
Perrett out rode some of the state’s leading riders including Robert Thompson, Kathy O’Hara, Corey Brown and Blake Shinn to win the $60,000 Kia Ora Country Cup at the Scone Cup meeting on Friday on the Port Macquarie-trained Overshadows.
Perrett sent the Tas Morton-trained five-year-old straight to the lead, rated him perfectly then kicked away to win by one-and-a-half-lengths in class record time.
It was a classic front running ride and earned plaudits from Morton.
“That was exactly how I wanted him ridden and the plan worked,” he said.
Just 24 hours later and Perrett and the reality of country racing was sinking in again when he made the long trek to Ballina where he had just one ride, on the Stephen Lee-trained Kamakani in a 1300m maiden, worth just $5000, which he duly won.
Today, Perrett links with Morton again on Tivoli Beau in the TAB.com.au Benchmark 60 (1000m) while he has five rides for his master Gordon Yorke.
They are; first starter Complete Secret (Prime News Two Year Old), the consistent Pin (Ladies In Racing Benchmark 65), Star Of Filante (TAB Number 1 Club Benchmark 55), last start winner Miaz (Angel Cove Sauvignon Class One) and Easy Play (Harelec Solar Power Benchmark 50).
Yorke and Perrett could easily finish with a winning double.
Pin is a class above his rivals in the Benchmark 65 over 2000m with a win and a second from his last two starts at Eagle Farm while Easy Play ran a good third at Kempsey at her first start back from a spell and her first start for Yorke after being switched from Grant Allard.
Morton was not the only Port Macquarie trainer to make his presence felt at the high profile Scone carnival.
Last Saturday the diminutive but classy Leviosa, trained by Jenny Graham, rocketed home from last, early to finish third behind Emotional Circus in the $140,000 HTBA Three Year Old Fillies (1100m) while the Neil Godbolt trained Never Doubt Me (Greg Ryan) finished fifth in the Listed Dark jewel Classsic behind Upon This Rock, beaten only a little over two lengths.
Leviosa was forced to carry top weight of 59kgs from barrier 12 and was still behind a wall of horses at the 300m before Robert Thompson was finally able to get a clear passage and she made up many lengths on the winner.
“That was just a super run and I will take her home now, monitor her for a few days then see where we go”, Graham said.
“She is only small and has done a lot of travelling lately but she has a huge heart.”
Graham has only one runner today, Enthusiasm, in the Carlton Mid Maiden to be ridden by Samantha Munro.
Enthusaism was beaten only 3.2 lengths when seventh in a Gosford maiden 18 days at her first run back from a lengthy spell.
Morton has three runners, Stage Left (Pietro Romeo) in the Ladies In Racing, the in form Juggah Hill (Matthew McGuren) in the TAB Number 1 Club and Tivoli Beau.
“I think Juggah Hill is our best chance but in saying that the stable is really firing well and Tivoli Beau is also a big chance,” the trainer said.
“That win by Overshadows was so satisfying because I always thought there was a really good race in him.
“I will probably get him ready for Grafton in July and if Juggah Hill keeps going the way he is at the moment, he might go that way as well.”
A lot of interest will centre on the second trial late in the day when the Ross Stitt-trained Youthful Jack prepares for his return to racing.
He will resume at Rosehill next Saturday, then go to the June Stakes and ultimately the Ramornie at Grafton in mid-July.
Youthful Jack, whose earnings are edging towards $1 million, spent the early part of this year racing in Tasmania where he won all three starts and all in listed company.