Mad dash pays dividends for jockey at race day
RACING: Mackay jockey Katariina Aho won't forget yesterday in a hurry anytime soon.
The jockey took out the first race at the Melbourne Cup day at Thabeban Park yesterday, guiding local trainer William Melvin's horse Mandolin Manni to a win.
But it almost didn't happen.
Aho raced in two meets, starting her day in Gladstone before sprinting to Bundaberg.
A scheduling program almost cost her dearly.
"I had two horses (in Gladstone) in two races and both finished last," she said.
"The second race was over at 10.30am. It was a two-hour drive and I'm meant to be here 15 minutes before the first race.
"I had to ring the stewards because I was five minutes late."
Getting clearance to race, Aho guided the horse to a special win by a length over Starbeats and Changeinthevalley.
"This was the first time I've ever won on the track and raced on it," she said.
"I was in so much of a rush I didn't have time to go and see the track."
She said the horse did well in just his second start in Queensland.
"Last start on Saturday was his first start up and the previous jockey said he would be hard to beat in this one," she said.
"He started to get tired in the end, so if it was 950m he would have struggled.
"The horse is a pretty handy horse."
The day was also momentous for local trainer Darryl Gardiner.
He claimed the top five spots in the Rum City Foods Handicap (1090m) with his five horses in action.
Mah Baker won the race by less than a length to All Host and Humanise.
"Makes the travel worthwhile," he said.
"We just went around for the prize money and there was no preference for any of them to win."
Gardiner said Mah Baker was home with 40m to go after leading from the start.
Gardiner's good day continued with a win in the Craft Rental and Hardware Handicap (1212m) with Overload.
Gympie trainer Cherie Vick won the Sea FM Handicap (1090m) with Mr Meticulous.
The next meet is the Men of League race day on December 9.
Race 1 : Mandolin Manni
Race 2: Mr Meticulous
Race 3: Mah Baker
Race 4: Overload
Race 5: Claim the Throne