Mansour showing his talent

Donavan Mansour timing his run nicely to win on The Faith at Matamata yesterday.

South African jockey Donavan Mansour’s career in New Zealand is on an upward spiral, as he showed again at Matamata yesterday.

Donavan had a full book of rides on the day and he was seen at his best winning on the Tony Pike stablemates The Faith and Five Stars and he also picked up seconds on Enrichment and Helena Baby, a third on Dam Reliable and a fourth on Ima Dandy Dude on the eight-race programme.

Mansour’s hard work since arriving to ride for Graeme Rogerson last year has helped get him noticed in New Zealand, but it is his shift to regularly ride work at Cambridge that has been the major boost to his profile.

‘’I was happy at Rogey’s and he gave me opportunities,’’ said Mansour. ‘’I’ll always be grateful to him, but I felt to get more opportunities I had to branch out a bit more so I’ve been riding work at Cambridge for three months and that’s really helped.

‘I ride a couple in work each morning for Murray Baker (and Andrew Forsman) then do six for Tony Pike. I’ve been getting more rides and getting on some nice horses.”

The Brendan Hawtin-trained It’s Doable was Mansour’s first win since riding work at the Cambridge centre when scoring at Rotorua on January 16 and the 34-year-old’s winning tally now stands at 11 for the season.

Five Stars (Donavan Mansour) unleashing a winning run at Matamata yesterday,

The talent which has seen him win over 400 races and be champion jockey during a three-year stint in Mauritius was evident yesterday with his patient rides on the Tony Pike-trained stablemates The Faith and Five Stars.

He got The Faith home by a length in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 1400 and guided Five Stars to a half-length win in the following event, the AA Auto Services Matamata 1400, to give Pike the first two of three wins on the card. Pike also won the last race with Harbourside, ridden by Troy Harris.

The Faith, a black filly by Denman, was having her fifth start and had suggested a win was close when a solid-finishing fifth behind Choctoc at Matamata a fortnight earlier.

“She’s still growing and getting stronger,’’ said Mansour. “She won well and she’ll improve.’’

Five Stars,  a three-year-old gelding by Highly Recommended, is also lightly tried and an improver. He was having his fourth start and had been unlucky with Mansour in the saddle when fourth to Dam Reliable at the earlier Matamata meeting.

Mansour also has a strong book of seven rides at Ellerslie on Saturday, including Wild Like, Walkin’ By, Sacred Delight and Stella Noire for Pike. He is also on the talented Yearn for Matamata trainer Karen Fursdon in the open sprint, the Peter and Dawn Williams-trained Destination and Evana Rahma for Shaune Ritchie.