Homecoming brings joy on and off track
EVERYTHING is falling into place for leading Far North hoop Wanderson D’Avila.
The Brazilian has relocated back to the Tablelands after a stint riding in New South Wales and welcomed his second child into the world this week.
D’Avila has been in hot riding form, too, grabbing a treble late last month before booting home another on Tuesday at Cannon Park for Melbourne Cup day.
The jockey looks set for another strong day in the saddle at Cooktown Amateur Turf Club this afternoon as he takes five rides for prolific Mackay trainer John Manzelmann.
Manzelmann and D’Avila combine with French Song in today’s $13,000 Cooktown Cup Benchmark 65 Handicap (1700m).
“As we all know, John Manzelmann is a very good trainer,” D’Avila said.
“I am always happy to jump on his horses.
“Gorgeous Gal in the QTIS race is probably my best ride of the day.”
The D’avila family welcomed their second child this week, a boy named Neymar, and the prolific hoop says it is family first after spending the best part of the last year chasing rides around Australia.
“I am very happy to be back up here, I love it up here around Cairns,” D’Avila said.
“I had a good time in New South Wales for a little bit but I am more suited on the Tablelands for my family.
“My wife (Sharlee) being a horse trainer, it was a bit hard for her, me being away for so long and now we have had another baby, it is time to be back.
“All my wife’s family is up here too, so it is more convenient for everyone.”
The Cooktown Cup is set to attract 2000 people today with the first race set down for decision at 1.15pm.
Last year boasted a record attendance, record prizemoney and a record number of horses in the 144-year history of the race meeting.
Cooktown is the second oldest turf club in Queensland and this event is an annual highlight.
The cup is a Benchmark 65 Handicap over 1700m valued at $13,000 and is the final event on the six-race card.
Atherton trainer Janel Ryan is hoping Assertive Love can regain her form from last preparation in the Cup.
“The only thing that might do her is fitness,” Ryan said.
“This will test her a little bit.
“She is stepping up from the 1400m to the 1700m today.”
Turn Up The Volume, trained by Trevor Rowe and ridden by Sonja Wiseman, is shooting for two Cooktown Cups in a row today.
CUP CHASE: Jockey Wanderson D'Avila, riding Fine 'n' Devine in the Nuleaf 3yo benchmark 60 Handicap at Cannon Park, is looking forward to the Cooktown Cup.