Jockey has clear view of the future
UNDER-rated jockey Christine Puls is hoping to reignite her riding career at Warracknabeal on September 9 after recovering from an eye injury.
The Horsham-based rider, wife of top Victoria country jockey Dean Yendall, was diagnosed with central retinal vein occlusion in the right eye after a blood vessel bled while she was travelling to races at Geelong on July 31.
The couple leaves today for a week’s holiday in Phuket before Puls prepares for her riding engagements at Warracknabeal and Yendall, who rode three winners at Mildura on Sunday, gets ready for a busy spring.
“The last few weeks have been very worrying,” Puls said. “I’ve had a few appointments with specialists in Melbourne. I’ve been told my eye problem can’t be cured but it can be controlled. The eye specialist has given me a clearance to resume riding again.
“The specialists have been amazed that I’ve been struck down with the problem — normally people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and are over 60 have this problem. I don’t have any of those things. I’m very fit. It’s a bit of a mystery how it’s happened but I can’t dwell on that. It’s not the end of the book, it’s just the start of a new chapter.”
Puls, who has ridden nearly 500 winners during her 20-year career, said she was looking forward to the holiday.
“Dean has been really busy,” she said. “He rides all over the state. His workload will increase over the next few months because of all the races over the spring. It’ll be just great to get away for a few days’ break.
“With my appointments with specialists in Melbourne over the past few weeks and Dean’s riding commitments it’s been a busy time for both of us. We’re both looking forward to getting a bit of sun on our backs. It’s been a long, cold winter.”
Purcell scores first metropolitan double
TOP Warrnambool trainer Aaron Purcell scored his first metropolitan double when he saddled up Streaky Fella and Yokozuna to win in Adelaide on Saturday.
Streaky Fella won a $34,000 race over 2400 metres, while Yokozuna tasted success in a $34,000 event over 1250 metres.
Purcell was delighted with his double. “It’s hard to win one race at a race meeting but to win a double is pretty rewarding,” he said.
“I thought both horses would be hard to beat but I never thought they would both win. I might give Streaky Fella a break now. I think he might be handicapped out of races now. I’ll give him a few months in the paddock.”
Purcell said Yokozuna had come back into work in career-best form, winning his first two starts this preparation.
“His first up win at Warrnambool was very good but I reckon his win today was even more impressive. He was a bargain basement buy for his owners,” Purcell said.
“I’m pretty confident that he will go through his classes. I think he will end up running out a strong 1400 metres.”
Yokozuna was bought for $12,000 at the 2008 Adelaide Yearling Sales and has since earned connections more than $154,000.
Gold Zero wins at Mildura
HAMILTON-trained mare Gold Zero kept up her great first-up record when she won a $17,500 restricted race at Mildura on Friday.
Gold Zero has now won three of her five fresh runs. Trainer Allan Clark said the five-year-old had trialled well in a jump-out at Casterton last week.
“She never beat much in the jump-out but she went really well. She does not handle the really heavy tracks. That’s why we made the trip to Mildura looking for dry tracks,” Clark said.
“She’s got a great fresh record. It was a good ride by Nikita McLean.”
Friday’s first prizemoney of $10,000 takes Gold Zero’s stake money to more than $43,000.
Bedggood pleads guilty
JUMPS jockey Gavin Bedggood felt the wrath of the stewards after his winning ride on Rays Bounty in an open hurdle at Pakenham on Saturday.
Bedggood pleaded guilty to using the whip in a forehand manner 14 times prior to the 100-metre mark. He also pleaded guilty to using the whip for two consecutive strides and also for five consecutive strides. Bedggood was fined $1000.
Meanwhile, apprentice jockey Jackie Beriman was outed on a careless riding charge at Werribee last Thursday. Beriman pleaded guilty to the charge after winning on Love Or Gold. Her suspension began at midnight last Saturday and ends at midnight on Saturday. Fellow apprentice Harry Coffey was suspended by stewards on a careless riding charge at Mildura on Sunday. Coffey is on the sidelines until midnight, September 17.
Diamonds At Noon too good for rivals
DESPITE a betting drift from 5/1 to 8/1, Colac-trained galloper Diamonds At Noon was too good for his rivals in a $20,000 restricted race over 2000 metres at Mildura on Sunday.
Diamonds At Noon’s trainer Bill Cerchi said before the race that the small field and lack of pace might not suit the six-year-old but jockey Dean Holland made a decisive mid-race move to circle the other runners and set up a handy lead.
Cerchi gave full credit to Holland after the race.
“It was a 100 out of a 100 ride by Dean,” he said. “His ride won the race. Diamonds At Noon can be a difficult horse to ride but he summed up the situation well.”