FORMER Warrnambool College student Clare Lindop took a trip down memory lane in her old home town on Friday night.
Lindop, who lives in Adelaide and retired as a jockey in July, was a guest for the Tall Poppies Awards at Warrnambool College.
Warrnambool College started the event in 2003 to recognise past students who have excelled in their field through the Sir John Eccles Tall Poppies Awards.
“It was wonderful to come back home,” she said.
“I’ve been invited to go to the Tall Poppies Award for years, but because of racing commitments I was unable to attend.
“I was fortunate and proud to have my career acknowledge by the school in 2009.
“It was just amazing to catch up with some of my old teachers at the function.
“I must admit a lot of school memories flashed through my mind while I was there.”
The four-time Group 1 winning jockey – including a VRC Derby on Rebel Raider in 2008 – took time out of her trip back to Adelaide, calling into Casterton races with husband Damien on Sunday.
“I really enjoyed going back to Casterton and have loved the weekend. The tracks around the western district are where my career started 23 years ago.
“Casterton was always pretty special to me, as I won the cup there twice on Chattalk and Llymbe.
“I loved the chance to catch up with so many racing people from across the district.”
Lindop rode more than 1400 winners during her career and was inducted into the South Australian Thoroughbred Racing Hall Of Fame last week.
TOUGH jumper Mannertone never ceases to amaze with his performances in jumping races.
The Orford-trained horse ran a gallant second behind Aldous in an open steeplechase at Casterton on Sunday.
Mannertone kicked off this jumps season running in the opening steeplechase at Warrnambool in March after a flat run at Colac.
He’ll run in the last steeplechase of the season at Coleraine on September 23.
The stats people will be impressed with these rough figures regarding Mannertone’s efforts.
Taking into account jumps races, jumps trials and a couple of flat runs, the 10-year-old has run over nearly 60,000 metres, equivalent to running about 37 miles for this campaign.
He’s amassed enough frequent flyer points to have a really good break after the 3600 metre steeplechase at Coleraine on Sunday week.
Trainer Anne McGrath said the veteran jumper has a real cult following from locals and people who love jumps racing.
FOUR-time winning Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase trainer Ciaron Maher said he was excited by the wins of his first-season jumpers Ascot Red and Big Blue at Casterton on Sunday.
Ascot Red scored his first jumps victory, winning a maiden hurdle, while Big Blue took his record to two from two over the jumps winning a restricted hurdle.
Champion jumps jockey Steven Pateman rode both horses.
Ascot Red and Big Blue are Maher’s only jumpers that he’s had in the stable this season.
“It’s great to get a couple of jumpers back in the stable,” he said.
“Ascot Red and Big Blue have plenty of upside going forward. We’ve only had Ascot Red and Big Blue for a few months.
“I’m confident there’s plenty of improvement in them.
“The wins at Casterton will bring both horses on. We’ll look at taking both horses to Coleraine in a fortnight for the last jumps races of the season before giving them a good break.
“I’m sure after the break they’ll come back into work bigger and stronger, and who knows, we may get them ready for races at the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival next year.”
Maher’s Grand Annual Steeplechase winners are Al Garhood – in 2010 and 2011 – while Regina Coeli was successful in 2015 and 2017.
WARRNAMBOOL galloper Sleek Acheeva, aided by a top ride from Declan Bates, won a maiden plate for trainer Daniel Bowman at Casterton on Sunday.
Bowman said Sleek Acheeva was having just his fourth start for the stable.
“I’m pleased Sleek Acheeva won for his owners at Rockmount,” he said.
“I’ve only had him for a handful of runs and he’s been running well without any luck.
“He was unlucky at Echuca and caught wide at Warracknabeal.
“I thought he deserved this win and it was a top ride by Declan.” Sleek Acheeva took his record to one win and six minor placings from 10 start with the victory over Patriot Day.
FIVE-year-old mare Delightful Cat put a wide barrier and unlucky runs at Murtoa and Warrnambool behind her to win a restricted race for hobby trainer Noel Rees at Casterton on Sunday.
The Warrnambool-based trainer said there were genuine excuses for defeats at Delightful Cat’s previous two starts.
“Delightful Cat’s been a bit unlucky at her last couple,” Rees said.
“I thought she was a real chance to win at Casterton.
“We’ll look around for another race in two to three weeks for her.
“She’s the only horse that I’ve got in work, so it’s good to get a win.”
To date, Delightful Cat has won more than $50,000 in stakemoney for her connections.