YOUNG apprentice jockey Teo Nugent has made a substantial investment in his future by purchasing a 40-acre farm near Pakenham racecourse.
Nugent, 23, who rode Floating Artist into fourth place in last month's Melbourne Cup, said it took a few weeks to come down from the high after his Melbourne Cup ride on the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Floating Artist.
"It was an amazing experience to have a ride in the Melbourne Cup - let alone to finish fourth," the former Warrnambool Brauer College student said. "All the hype about the Melbourne Cup is incredible. It was a shame that COVID put a limit on the crowd attendance. The amount of well wishes I received before and after the race was amazing and there was a lot from people back home in Warrnambool. I've got to thank the owners of Floating Artist for giving me the ride and also Ciaron and Dave. They have all been wonderful supporters of mine. I started thinking about my future, and I love horses and working with horses - that's why I purchased the property at Pakenham as an investment in my future. I'm wanting to set the property up for agistment and pre-training. My dad John is going to be helping me."
Nugent only needs five more city winners before he outrides his apprenticeship and he has a burning ambition to ride more winners.
"I've got my weight under control as I can ride at 51.5kgs," he said.
"It's a very competitive job being a jockey, and it's demanding on your body and mind, but I love the challenges it presents. The journey has gone really quick since my first race ride at Casterton back in October 2017. I've received wonderful support from so many people during my career and I'm very grateful for all that support."
Untouchable Ed may have his next start in city midweek company after scoring an impressive maiden victory for Warrnambool trainer Symon Wilde at Bendigo on Sunday.
The four-year-old came from last in the $35,000 maiden to defeat Sugerpiehoneybunch by two lengths, with Reckless Moon back in third place.
Liam Hoy, foreman for Wilde, said Untouchable Ed is still immature.
"We gave Untouchable Ed three jump-outs," Hoy said. "He had two jump-outs at Ararat and one at Warrnambool. He's shown us some ability since day one. It took a little bit of time for him to settle into our systems. We've just given him a bit of time. We have not rushed him. He's very green and still learning his craft. It's great to get another winner for Price Bloodstock. I think once the penny really drops, he may develop into a handy horse. There's a midweek metropolitan restricted race coming up in a few weeks, but first, we'll see how he pulls up after his maiden win before finalising future runs for him."
Untouchable Ed picked up more than $19,000 in stakemoney for his connections with the maiden victory.
Woodford's popular race day at Warrnambool on New Years Eve looks like being a bumper event.
Last year because of COVID restrictions, only 1300 people were on-course, but club boss Tom O'Connor said early indications are 4000 patrons will be on-track for the December 31 meeting.
"Traditionally, the Woodford meeting is a big day, but COVID had a big impact last year," O'Connor said. "We had a lot of restrictions in place last year but they are lifted this year. There were 4000 patrons on-course for Woodford Cup day back in 2019 and we're expecting the same again this year.
"We've got a lot of activities organised for the children, which always makes for a big family race day."
Woodford is the first of three country cups run over the holiday period at Warrnambool. Koroit Cup is run on January 9, while the Port Fairy Cup is set down for decision on January 20.
Speedy Warrnambool mare Kev's Girl never let her supporters down, winning a $60,000 benchmark 64 over 955 metres at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Kev's Girl, who was heavily backed late in the betting, hung on to beat Estoril Park and Lunar Hero.
Trainer Adam Chambers said it was a nerve-racking experience to see how well backed Kev's Girl was before the race.
"I'm not a punter but it felt like I had the weight of the nation on me just before the race," Chambers said. "It's for sure the heavy backing for Kev's Girl was not stable money. It takes a fair bit of money for a horse to shorten from $3.50 into $2.30 in the last few minutes. I reckon the professional punters jumped on board. There's another race around the Valley on New Year's Eve which could suit Kev's Girl. She's won three of her seven starts and is now developing into a very handy mare for her connections. The city win is a big bonus for her breeding career."
Kev's Girl has won more than $80,000 in stakemoney from her seven starts.
Warrnambool jockey Melissa Julius will be on the sidelines for eight meetings after pleading guilty to a whip infringement charge at Geelong on Friday. Her suspension commenced at midnight on December 10 and ends at midnight on December 18. Stewards took into account her guilty plea and excellent riding record. Fellow jockey Liam Riordan was found guilty of a careless riding charge at Wangaratta on Saturday. Riordan was outed for 13 meetings. His suspension will commence at midnight on December 20 and ends January 3.
MISS MOONSHINE: unwanted in the betting at her debut over 1300 metres at Cranbourne on Friday but did run well. She is one to follow next time over more ground than 1300 metres.
HELL HATH NO FURY: pleasing effort at Flemington. Having her first start she finished the 1100-metre race off strongly. She's one to jot into your little black book. HALVORSEN: liked his performance to run third in a 1000-metre race on Saturday. He'll derive plenty from that run which was his second in this campaign. VESPERTINE: lightly raced mare who resumed with a second placing in an 1100-metre race. Her best runs have been in races around the 1400 metre mark. She'll be hard to beat in those types of races once she gets out in distance.
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