YOU couldn't wipe the smile off Clarence River Jockey Club executive officer Michael Beattie's face at Grafton races yesterday.
Beattie had just witnessed his horse My Boy Eagle win his first race in the Winning Edge Presentations Maiden (1215m).
Beattie, like those who backed the $8.50 chance, was chuffed. There were congratulations all around.
"It's always nice to win, beautiful," Beattie, normally very talkative, said politely. "Cathy (Chapman) has done a good job with him."
Beattie has had a long friendship with Col Keane from the NSW Central Coast who races horses in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Macau.
Beattie and Chapman have raced numerous horses formerly under the Keane banner that all carry the name Eagle.
And the pair has shared luck together with the likes of Hurricane Eagle, Lisboa Eagle and Diamond Eagle all winning and Southern Eagle who boasts two second placings.
"About 12 months back I had a talk to Col and he had this horse (My Boy Eagle) up for sale," Beattie recalled. "He didn't think he was up to metropolitan standard, we came to an arrangement and here we are.
"Cathy and I have had a bit of luck together with horses from Col Keane."
My Boy Eagle was having his sixth race start on Friday and his second since resuming from a spell. He resumed with a last-start second to Hair Of The Dog over 1002m at Grafton on February 2.
"He's really benefited from the spell," Chapman said. "He's filled out and grown up a lot. He was a scrawny little fellow before.
"He ran right up to his last start today. Craig (Frank
lin) rode him well. It's a good effort from Craig who had to waste a bit this week to ride."
The track at Grafton yesterday played particularly well despite the heavy (8) reading. Beattie said the decision to reposition the false rail out further had made a "big difference".
Former Grafton jockey Ben Looker, engaged to champion apprentice Priscilla Schmidt and currently living in Port Macquarie, later made it a race double aboard Grafton-trained horses.
Port-based Priscilla Schmidt, 25, has ridden close to 300 winners during her career and comes out of her apprenticeship in March, 2016.
Looker scored aboard the Greg Howells-trained three-year-old filly Coastal Gem in the Radio 2GF/FM 104.7 Maiden (1420m) then on Who This in the NBN Television Class 1 & Maiden Plate (1620m) for Shane Everson.
"She's probably looking for 2000 metres now," Howells said of Coastal Gem.