Gordon set for biggest day

Will Gordon and Thenamesbond in winning action at Te Aroha last weekend.

Will Gordon and Thenamesbond in winning action at Te Aroha last weekend.

Visiting English jumps jockey Will Gordon can hardly believe his luck since he arrived in New Zealand.

The 20-year-old was encouraged to come here by Cambridge jumps riders Shaun Phelan and Emily Farr, having ridden for the latter’s parents in England.

Gordon has posted three wins from 14 starts and he is now preparing for a watershed day at Ellerslie on Saturday with confirmed mounts in two of the country’s premier jumps events.

He will continue his association with the last-start winner Thenamesbond in the Schweppes Great Northern Hurdles and he will also partner Old Redfeather in the Meadow Fresh Great Northern Steeplechase.

“It’s going to be the biggest day of my career. I’ve been very lucky to get the support,” said Gordon, who is staying in Cambridge with Farr and Phelan.

Trained by Stephen Ralph, Thenamesbond will be lining up for his third crack at the Northern. He was pulled up in 2014 and 12 months ago he gave a far better account when he finished fifth.

“The distance may be a slight question, but he won really well at Te Aroha and went right through the line,” said Gordon.

“I think he’s going to be a very good chance. He likes to lead so hopefully we don’t get taken on. He’ll relax then and get into his rhythm. He’s got quite a good cruising speed.”

Gordon also believes Old Redfeather can be a sneaky chance at good odds in the Great Northern Steeplechase after finishing eighth on the Warren Lund-trained gelding in the Pakuranga Hunt Cup.

“He ran a respectable race and he jumped very well,” he said. “The trip will suit him and if the rain comes it will slow a few of the others down.”

Gordon plans to remain in New Zealand for the next couple of months.

“I’ll head home at the end of October to start riding in England again and I would love to come back here next year,” he said.

– NZ Racing Desk.