Former South African jockey Keagan Latham was the punters pal at Saturday’s Newcastle Jockey Clubs race meeting.
The popular 21-year-old only had two mounts and to the joy of favourite backers the pair were successful.
The “Blue Army” Godolphin struck in the 900m Nelson Bay Bowlo Maiden Plate with Latham enjoying the ride as the two-year-old Lanigera bolted in by 3 ¼ lengths. The winner had outstanding credentials which included a close Group 3 third earlier this year.
Trainer James Cummings was bullish about Lanigera’s prospects and he did not let him down. The gelding jumped in front and cruised home in class record time.
Latham was impressed. “He is a very fast horse. He only knows one speed and that’s flat out. It is near impossible to get him to settle so for that reason he is suited to short courses for the time being. He is pretty good.“ Latham said.
The talented hoop who has ridden Group 1 winners in Dubai and Mauritius completed the double on the Kiwi bred Cinquedea in the 1600 metre Le Mottee Port Stephens Cup. An easy last start winner at Goulburn, the three-year-old was in the box seat until he gained a split in the straight where he raced away to win by 3 ½ lengths.
Chad Lever didn’t take long to punch home a winner after he returned from his honeymoon on Wednesday. Lever and former jockey Clare Nutman were married in New York on June 18. The former South Australian hoop was aboard the Chris Waller trained Society in the Fox Stevens Conveyancing Maiden (1400m).
The filly raced at the tail of the field until well into the straight where Lever revved her up and she finished strongly. “That was some win and she will be even better as she steps up in trip,“ Lever said.
Waller had two winners on the program with filly Exoplanet an impressive winner of the Warner Bay Hotel Maiden (1600m).
Former Newcastle Rugby League Union Representative, John Steinmetz was in the winner’s circle after his tough stayer Mushroom Rock won the opening event the John Thomas Electrical Class 1 (2300m). The New Zealand bred stayer came from well back and outstayed his rivals.
With only two Newcastle meetings remaining in the 2018-19 season Kris Lees looks to have the Australian Bloodstock Trainers Premiership.
Lees has trained 28 winners, 6 ahead of Chris Waller. Andrew Gibbons leads the TJS Services Jockeys Premiership with 17 wins 2 more than Chad Lever.
Robbie Dolan has a two-win lead over Mikayla Weir in the Jennings Print Apprentice Premiership.