Harrison returns to saddle after two-week suspension
JOCKEY Tegan Harrison has her first start at Grafton today since taking out the NRRA Country Championship Qualifier (1400m) on Profiler.
The $100,000 win on March 6 brought mixed fortunes for the Clarence Valley product. As well as being one of her most memorable wins on her home track, Harrison was subsequently suspended for two weeks for a post-race careless riding charge.
Race stewards found Harrison had 'permitted her mount to shift in when insufficiently clear' shortly after passing the winning post, interfering with three other runners in the process.
Harrison conceded the suspension was a wake up call when she spoke to The Daily Examiner prior to her return to the saddle at Beaudesert yesterday.
"It's not something that happens often," Harrison said.
"You can become complacent and relax after a race, especially after you've won. So I guess it's a wake up call to maintain control of your horse at all times.
"It's quite awkward after the line at Grafton. I've seen accidents there before. The way it's angled it is quite easy to step inside the line of other riders."
Harrison has six rides booked at Grafton in her race to return to peak fitness ahead of weekend metropolitan racing. However, her preparations are not for the Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick.
Instead she will head to Doomben, with Sydney jockey Tye Angland scoring the ride on Stephen Lee trained Profiler for Saturday's $400,000 final.
"I've been doing barrier trials and trackwork, but there's nothing like race fitness," Harrison said.
"That's why I've got a few at Beaudesert and a few at Grafton; so that on main day on Saturday I'll be on the ball. Two weeks off isn't too bad, but it still does take a bit away.
"In my first week back it makes sense to ride at the Doomben meeting."
Four of Harrison's rides at Grafton - Pauline's Passion, Cloud Consort, Provisional and Code Red - are for the Ballina trainer she combined with on Profiler.
"I haven't ridden any of those horses before but I've had a bit of luck for Steve (Lee) at the track lately and his horses are going well, so hopefully we can keep it going tomorrow," she said.
Harrison also rides Son Of Eden for Gosford's Tony Newing in a 4YO+ maiden and last start winner Royal Scribe for David Kelly in the North Coast Mile.
"Royal Scribe has been a good horse to me," Harrison said. "Obviously winning the Grafton Guineas was a big thrill and we ran second a couple of starts ago.
"Unfortunately I was suspended when he won at Caloundra (March 18). But he's in a bit of form and the trainer has given me another chance on him so I'm looking forward to that."