Solar Duchess, urged on by jockey Ryan Maloney, makes it five race wins from seven events for the Devon Meadows jockey at Stony Creek last week. M080215
THERE was colour, movement and excitement aplenty at the Stony Creek Racing Club last week for the annual Ladies Day race meeting.
About 150 ladies, all in their race day finery, sat down for a champagne lunch, with a guest speaker Janelle Malone, and that could easily have been the highlight of the day, in ideally warm and fine conditions for a summer event outdoors.
But no one could have expected a record-breaking effort on the track by Devon Meadows’ jockey, Ryan Maloney, who rode five winners on the eight-race card – a best effort for him in 12 years as a jockey, and the best by any jockey at Stony.
But it was the way he continued his luck, in a bizarre incident during the lead up to Race Three, that really had the crowd at Stony talking.
There was no sign of Ryan Maloney making such a splash on the day when Dean Holland booted home an easy winner in the first on the Dianne Clover (Pakenham) trained Florence, taking out the Maiden Plate over 1600 metres, its first win after 22 starts.
But he got in to gear in the Second Race, squeezing the lightly raced three year old Gee Whizzer through for a half-length win over Hot Little Vixen with the favourite, Unruly Student, almost two lengths further back in third. It was Gee Whizzer’s first race win.
Maloney was headed to the barrier on his mount Wallbanger for Race Three when the horse veered towards the outside running rail about 70 metres past the mounting yard and fortuitously headed around in to the chute for the 1600 metre start.
Seeing that the horse would be trapped in there, Maloney, got back over the fence and ran up to the horse, and with the help of a strapper, remounted and, to the amazement of all who saw it, trotted back out on to the track.
The horse was vetted clear to run in the mounting yard, and with the clerk of the course there to supervise, Wallbanger and Maloney trotted around to the 1100 metre start on the far side of the racecourse.
“I thought he was going to hit the rail, so I thought the best thing for me was to jump off,” said Maloney afterwards.
Amazingly, Wallbanger jumped away well and held out the fast-finishing duo, The Bubba and Hairini Tycoon, to win for Mornington based trainers Lyn Tolson and Leonie Proctor – an amazing effort!
Maloney finished back in the field in Race Four when his mount, Manna Gum didn’t run on and was well back from the eventual winner, Belli Laugh, with young Beau Mertens in the saddle claiming three kilos to get him down to the minimum of 54kg.
Races 5, 6 and 7 had everyone sitting up and taking notice again as Maloney turned a double into five winners from seven races when $6.50 chance, Vince Grande, won a tight Race Five from Geeceegazza and Vertigo; then Tailorman won from Beau Brommell and Mukdalight by a similar margin in the sixth and Solar Duchess bounded down the outside to out-pace Ballydoyle and Oamaru Faith to win Race Seven in thrilling style.
The winner was a late pick-up ride for Ryan.
The word had gone around the track by then and the crowds milled around the mounting yard to look over Maloney’s mount ‘Manwell’ for trainer John Price in the last race, some sort of hope at 9/1.
Unfortunately the horse jumped away at the tail of the field and while the four year old bay gelding fought on strongly up the hill to the finish in the 1100 metre event, to finish a creditable fourth, there was no catching the winner Ferocia, ridden by Ms Jackie Beriman, a fitting outcome for a female jockey to take the last on Ladies Day.
“I tried my best but couldn’t quite get him there,” said Maloney after the last race.
“Still it’s a pretty good day’s work. I’m happy with that.”
Even more so that he didn’t come to grief in the mishap with Wallbanger.
Racing Club General Manager Terry Grace was delighted with Maloney’s success, giving the club its best burst of publicity since the Triple Deadheat, and also with the success of Ladies Day.
“We’ve had a terrific meeting and it was a thrill to see the Maloney win five from eight,” he said.
The club’s next meeting is on Sunday of the Labour Day Long Weekend on March 8.