Jumps racing returns to Warrnambool with the running of an open steeplechase plus maiden and open hurdles on Thursday.
Popular Warrnambool-based jumps jockey Daniel Small, 33, kicks off his second season in the saddle, riding the Simon Ryan-trained Police Camp in the steeplechase and Xalamber for Peter Chow in a high-weight flat race.
Small, son of legendary jockey Cyril Small, said he was looking to a busy jumps season.
"The number of jumpers running on Thursday may be a bit thin but it's only the second jumps races for the season," he told The Standard. "A lot of the trainers are holding their jumpers off to the Warrnambool May Carnival. I would say from the carnival going forward, the numbers of jumpers will increase significantly."
Veteran jumper Police Camp, who is lining up for his 30th jumps start in the steeplechase, has been handicapped to carry 72.5kgs but with Small's three kilogram claim the nine-year-old gets in with 69.5 kgs in the 3450-metre 'chase.
"I would love to win a race on Police Camp," Small said. "Police Camp was the first horse I rode in a jumps race last year and on Thursday he's my first ride for 2023. It's a bit ironic to me.
"It would be great if I could win on him as Simon (Ryan) has been a big supporter of mine. I think my three kilogram claim really brings Police Camp into the race. It's only a small field but it'll be a very competitive race.
"My other ride is Xalamber. She ran on well last time at Colac. I ride a lot of work for the Chow stable and she's one that I've ridden in trackwork. She should run well."
A maiden hurdle starts the eight-race program at 1pm with the last due at 5pm.
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