Apprentice jockey Melissa Julius has her sights set on the city

AMBITION: Promising Warrnambool apprentice Melissa Julius has her sights set on midweek city races.  Photo: AMY PATON
AMBITION: Promising Warrnambool apprentice Melissa Julius has her sights set on midweek city races. Photo: AMY PATON

PROMISING Warrnambool apprentice jockey Melissa Julius hopes her three kilogram metropolitan claim will attract trainers to offer her midweek city rides over the next few months.

Julius, 25, who has ridden 51 winners from just over 400 rides, including one from three metropolitan rides, is keen to take up the challenge to boot home more city winners

“I want to use my three kilogram metropolitan claim at the midweek meetings,” she said. “The window of opportunity is open for me now, as trainers are looking for three kilogram apprentices in town over the winter months. The opportunities for apprentice jockeys dry up in Melbourne over the spring because all of the top riders from everywhere want to ride there. I’ve got my three kilogram claim in town until I've ridden 20 winners so I've got to take advantage of it.”

Julius said she had no intention of relocating to Melbourne for the winter months.

“I’ll be staying in Warrnambool,” she said. “I've been very lucky because my boss Symon Wilde has been great. He's really helped my career since day one. I really haven't based my style on any one jockey but I do admire Dean Yendall and Hugh Bowman. I think it's all about jockeys being strong in the finish - Dean and Hugh do that all the time.”

The talented horsewoman said her weight was now under control after some hard work.

“My minimum riding weight is 54kgs,” she said. “I can do that comfortably. My weight had increased when I went overseas but it's steady now. I’m always watching what I eat and exercise a lot to keep my weight under control.” Julius can claim 1.5kgs in the country.


COLAC trainer Bill Cerchi may head to Adelaide with Royal Spinner for his next start after a fast finishing second over 975 metres at Swan Hill.

Cerchi said Royal Spinner deserved a crack at a race in Melbourne but he was worried the class may be too strong.

“It was a sensational effort at Swan Hill,” Cerchi said. “He just dwelt at the start and that probably cost him the race. He drew a wide barrier which never helped his chances. He's not much good on wet tracks. I'll try and find a nice race in Adelaide for him. If we went to Melbourne and he won I reckon it would be the end of his career because he would be weighted out of country races.”

Cerchi, who has 10 horses in work, said Royal Spinner had been a great money spinner for his connections.

“He's only small but is very honest,” the colourful trainer said. “He puts in 100 per cent at each start. I wish I had a stable full of horses like him.”

From his 24 starts, Royal Spinner has won six races and notched up 11 minor placings.


IMPORTED jumper Dormello Mo will school around Casterton on Wednesday, as he prepares for a $50,000 open steeplechase at the course on July 1.

Dormello Mo has won his last two steeplechase starts at Mount Gambier and Casterton.

Trainer Simon Ryan said Dormello Mo had freshened up well since his Casterton win in late May.

“I gave Dormello Mo a week in the paddock after that win,” Ryan said. “He's freshened up well. I’ll give him a school around Casterton on Wednesday. It's a tricky track because of the live hedges. He seemed to like the fences there last time but I just want him to have another look around.”

The former jumps jockey said he had no big plans for Dormello Mo.

“We’ll just go to Casterton and see what happens,” he said. “It's a $50,000 race. It's excellent prizemoney. Our aim is to just take him through his grades quietly.”

Meanwhile, Orford trainer Anne McGrath will target her honest jumper Mannertone at the Casterton steeplechase following his third placing in the South Australian Grand National Steeplechase. McGrath said Mannertone had pulled up well after the Morphettville run.


WARRNAMBOOL trainer Peter Chow has no big plans for Lord Tennyson following his win in the $40,000 restricted race at Sandown last week.

Champion jockey Craig Williams had the winning ride on Lord Tennyson over Notio and Let’s Go To Rio.

Chow said Lord Tennyson was in the paddock for a week before planning future races for the four-year-old.

“The race at Sandown really suited Lord Tennyson,” he said. “Craig rode him perfectly. He was on-pace which really suited the horse. We’ll have a close look at the calendar next week before working out his next run.”

Lord Tennyson has won four races and collected more than $170,000 in stake money.


THREE-year-old galloper Falcool returns to work for Warrnambool trainer Aaron Purcell next week as he prepares for races in the spring in Melbourne.

Falcool won the Moomba Plate down the Flemington straight with champion jockey Hugh Bowman in the saddle in March.

Purcell said he was prepared to forget Falcool’s last start failure in the Euclase Stakes at Morphettville in May.

“I think Falcool has come back into work stronger,” he said. “His win at Flemington was very, very good. There are some nice races on the calendar in Melbourne during the spring which will really suit him.”


NIGEL SEYMOUR: his career appears to be heading in a new direction. Seymour was a former top western district apprentice in the late 1990s. He is now based in Broome and booting home winners. Keep on following his rides at Broome over the next few weeks.

DATA POINT: nice performance to finish in third place at his third run in from a spell. He should be improved from that outing and is ready to win again.

NIMINYPIMINY: put the writing on the wall for an upcoming win with a fast finishing second placing over 1200 metres. She’s been a tricky horse to follow during her career having only won two races from 26 starts but going on her effort at the Valley she may win again shortly.

CLARE LINDOP: in a tight tussle to win the leading jockey title in Adelaide. She booted home two winners on Saturday and should be hard to beat in the prestigious award.