MISSING most of last year’s jumping season has made champion jumps jockey Steve Pateman hungry for more success in 2018.
Pateman broke his left leg after being kicked by a horse at his property near Barwon Heads in June last year, forcing the two-time Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase jockey to miss some feature jumps races.
“I really did miss riding last year,” he said.
“I probably never realised how much I would miss riding in races until I was on the sidelines.
“It was pretty frustrating watching horses that I could have ridden winning races, but all is well now the leg has healed and I’m really looking forward to this jumps season.”
Pateman, who has a dual training and riding licence, has 12 horses in work. Eleven are jumpers.
“We’ve got a few nice young jumpers in the stable,” he said.
“They all take a bit of time but with the time they could develop into good jumpers.
“It looks like being a strong jumping season as many good flat performers are being set for jumping campaigns, which is a real positive for jumps racing.
“I’m confident I’ll have my weight under control by the time the jumps season starts. The change in lifestyle to the country has really helped me.”
Pateman won the 2011 Grand Annual on Al Garhood and was successful on Awakening Dream in 2012.
HAMILTON-TRAINED mare Jester Halo will be set for a crack at the $150,000 Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield on February 24 after her unplaced run in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Trainer Darren Kolpin said he was pleased with the run of Jester Halo against the Group 1 runners.
“Jester Halo was beaten less than four lengths it was a good performance,” Kolpin said. “She got shuffled back in the early stages of the race and that never helped her.
“I would say considering all things it was not a bad run. She puts in 100 per cent.
“She’ll appreciate dropping back to mares company in the Mannerism, instead of running against the top liners in Group 1 company.”
From her 14 starts, Jester Halo has won six races and earnt more than $150,000 in prizemoney.
Kolpin, who is also the track manager at Hamilton, said the track was in top condition considering there had been a lack of rain.
“We have not had much rain over the past few months but you expect that at this time of the year,” he said.
“Our dam is half-full and we’ve got plenty of bore water.
“The track is looking a picture. It’s a shame we can’t get more race meetings at Hamilton.”
Hamilton races again on April 20.
KEEN form followers rated the Mount Gambier-trained Evenmoreaction a weight carrying certainty in the Naracoorte Cup.
And the 11-year-old never let them down, winning his 19th race on Sunday.
Evenmoreaction was handicapped to carry only five kilograms above the minimum weight before beating Hasta La Thomas and Costa Lante in the $30,000 race for veteran trainer Michael O’Leary.
Evenmoreaction’s form card now reads 19 wins and 23 placings from 77 starts. He has picked up more than $460,000 in prizemoney.
SYMON Wilde has no big goals for Purrfect Trick after his win over Seul Spirit and Supreme Renegade in a restricted race at Colac on Sunday.
“I thought he was really unlucky at his last start at Terang,” Wilde said. “He’s an honest performer who has been unlucky in a few other races during his career.
“We’ll just poke around with him in similar company. He’s won over $100,000 for his connections, so he’s been a good money spinner.”
Purrfect Trick has won five and been placed on seven occasions from his 25 starts.
STEWARDS questioned jockey Billy Egan after his ride on Backstreet Alley at Colac on Sunday.
Backstreet Alley had a big lead in the maiden over 1600 metres before he compended to run sixth, finishing more than six lengths back from the winner Trouble Bound.
Egan told the stewards that he was under no specific instructions from trainer Bill Cerchi.
However, he anticipated taking up a forward position on Backstreet Alley as he had done at his previous outing.
He added Backstreet Alley raced keenly from the 1300 metre mark and would not respond to his efforts to restrain him at that stage of the race.
Cerchi confirmed the instructions issued and added that Backstreet Alley had a tendency to race and trial keenly when wearing blinkers.
Egan pleaded guilty to a charge that he used the whip on nine occasions prior to the 100 metre mark (four more than are permitted). He was fined $300.
PROMISING apprentice jockey Justin Huxtable will resume riding on February 19 after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge at Ararat last Thursday.
Huxtable was allowed to fulfil riding engagements at Morphettville on Saturday and Naracoorte on Sunday before beginning his suspension.
The talented hoop ended up riding two winners at Naracoorte.