Jack Strikes Back with commanding win at Grafton
RACING: Jack Strikes Back did just that to score a convincing win in the Supply and Demand Benchmark 64 Handicap over 2360m at Grafton yesterday.
A change in tactics worked a treat for Grafton trainer Neville Stewart who put to bed the demons of a disappointing Armidale Cup on March 4.
On that occasion Jack Strikes Back faded badly after he held the early running. But this time Stewart allowed Wayne Lawson trained Stella's Chance ($4.80, Raymond Spokes) set the pace.
The highly fancied stayer at one stage led the field by five lengths, but was easily rounded up by Jack Strikes Back ($10, Olivia Pickering), before the seven-year-old gelding bolted to a three length win over Stella's Chance with Two For The Road ($19, Matthew Paget) another two lengths back for third ahead of $2.80 favourite Polemic (Clayton Gallagher).
"Forget about Armidale, he didn't like it up there because they went too hard," Stewart said.
"I've never had a lot of luck going up the hill, I rode him wrong up there.
"I wanted to lead on him and it was the wrong thing to do. Everything else wanted to lead and we just used up too much petrol early and you can't use both ends."
This time the race was judged to perfection with Olivia Pickering, who now has two wins and a third from her past four starts on Jack Strikes Back, once again in the saddle.
"(Stella's Chance) likes to lead and I thought I'll let it lead and sit off it," Stewart said. "I thought Winkler might be up attacking a bit more, but it didn't. But when it went to go up with it, it was gone anyhow.
"She rode him a good race and I let him do work up front and the rest is history."
So what's next?
"I'm going for three weeks holiday, so he'll probably have a break."
Jockey trampled in race fall at Grafton
JOCKEY Kirk Matheson was injured in a fall during the final 200m of race four at the CRJC yesterday.
Matheson was transported to Coffs Harbour Hospital for scans and treatment after he fell from the saddle of Andrew Parramore trained Legal Loophole and was trampled by another horse in the Become a CRJC Member Maiden Plate (1710m).
According to Racing NSW, Matheson was conscious after the fall and was complaining of pain to his chest and ribs.
Legal Loophole ($20), who led during the early stages of the race, was caught between Military Express ($71) and Bravo Uncle Billy ($11) when the fall happened.
The race was won by Grande Casadora ($4.60), trained by Murwillumbah's Darryl McCabe and ridden by Luke Rolls.