Reece hon­ours his mate with Te Aroha win

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - DEN­NIS RYAN

Young Mata­mata jumps jockey Reece Cole put much more than nor­mal emo­tion into his week­end win at Te Aroha on Fast Catch.

Two days ear­lier he had joined a large crowd of mourn­ers at Mata­mata race­course to farewell his mate Ja­son Her­cock, who was struck down at age 41 and died af­ter a short ill­ness last Tuesday.

Ja­son, the brother of for­mer jockey Kate Her­cock, had a wide cir­cle of friends in the com­mu­nity he lived in and be­yond.

No doubt they were all rid­ing with Reese when he brought home Fast Catch for an easy win at Te Aroha on Sun­day.

His salute to the heav­ens as he reached the fin­ish line said it all and it mat­tered lit­tle to him that stew­ards af­ter­wards fined him $100 for stand­ing high in the irons with the salute be­fore the win­ning post.

Reese, aged 24 years, touch­ing six feet in height and un­able to make less than 65 kilo­grams, is not what you would de­scribe as be­ing built like a jockey, but that hasn’t stopped him from re­al­is­ing an am­bi­tion he set him­self as a teenager.

A nephew of for­mer suc­cess­ful jumps jockey Kim Burke, he gained his li­cence in 2014 and af­ter a string of mi­nor plac­ings he broke his duck the fol­low­ing sea­son with two wins along with four sec­ond plac­ings from 23 rides in 2014-15.

Reese’s ded­i­ca­tion was sorely tested when he failed to ride a win­ner from 30 race­day mounts last sea­son, but he has since been re­warded with bet­ter rides and re­sults to match.

His win on Fast Catch took his 2016-17 tally to five wins from 35 rides, of which three wins have been in high­weight flat races.

From 18 rides over fences this sea­son he has won twice, with two sec­onds and two third plac­ings giv­ing him fur­ther cause to be­lieve in him­self.

SUP­PLIED

Reese Cole heads to an emo­tional vic­tory on Fast Catch at Te Aroha on Sun­day.

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