Jockeys enjoy Pukekohe spoils
Matamata-based jockeys Cameron Lammas and Craig Grylls made the most of their opportunities by winning the two $100,000 features on last Saturday’s big Pukekohe programme.
On paper both of their big race rides were not among the leading prospects yet they emerged clearly dominant. In particular, Cameron’s Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes mount Lasarla was given little chance, with a $100 quote on the TAB’s fixed odds market and $60 on the tote.
But casting aside a record of just one win and three placings from five starts, she left some big reputations behind her as she burst through to challenge fellow outsider Somethingvain and win by three-quarters of a length.
That was Cameron’s 18th win for the season and his first in a black-type race during that period, on top of a superb 2015-16 season of 67 winners. With previous jockeys Leith Innes and Danielle Johnson committed to more fancied rivals, Cameron was only too happy to take the Lasarla mount.
‘‘I had ridden her in a trial at the start of the season and I really liked her,’’ he said.
‘‘Then I looked at her last run for second as well as her earlier form and thought she might just be able to do it.’’
Craig Grylls took the same positive attitude into the Counties Cup, likewise on a horse he had no raceday experience of. Even though he was also light on experience, Chocante was nowhere near as disregarded as Lasarla with three wins and a last-start second from his previous nine starts.
An outside draw was no help on Saturday, forcing Craig to ride the gelding three-wide, but he dug deep for what in the end was an easy win.
‘‘It wasn’t pretty getting parked out like that but he was always travelling well,’’ Craig explained.