Rider confident Finley Harper can back up in hurdle feature

IRISH-born jumps jockey Shane Jackson is prepared to forget Finley Harper’s effort at Hamilton last Sunday when she ran third in a restricted hurdle race and is looking forward with confidence to the $100,000 Kevin Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool tomorrow with the five-year-old mare.

“The track at Hamilton was bottomless,” Jackson said. “It was just too heavy for her. 

“I thought she ran well considering how heavy the track was last week. The surface at Warrnambool is a lot different to Hamilton. She loves wet going but not a bottomless track. She pulled up well after last week so Bill and Symon Wilde thought they would run her again tomorrow.”

Jackson, who has been working for the Wilde stable for nearly two years, has 12 winners to his credit this season and he’s hoping to build on that number.

“There’s nothing better than riding winners,” he said. “I’m really loving being in Warrnambool,  so is my family. The Wilde family has been sensational to my wife Lauren and my son Joseph but in saying that many other people have also been there to make sure everything has been great for us. 

“Apart from the Wilde stable I’ve been able to pick up rides for other trainers. I would have to rate my win on Kirribilli Gold in the Great Southern Steeplechase last year at Sandown as my Australian highlight to this stage.”

Jackson rates Wells, Sea King and Success Dostta as the hardest to beat in the 3600-metre Lafferty Hurdle. Jackson rides veteran jumper Gravitas for Fran Houlahan and Brian Johnston in the $100,000 Thackeray Steeplechase. 

The steeplechase will be run on the course proper after recent heavy rain.

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