Tiley steals the show in Classic Jockeys event

Lee Tiley aboard "Interval" after beating Jim Collett on "All In Fun" at Te Rapa today.

Lee Tiley aboard “Interval” after beating Jim Collett on “All In Fun” at Te Rapa today.

Lee Tiley had a set plan in her mind in the first leg of the Classic Jockeys Series Stakes at today’s Cambridge Jockey Club’s meeting and it paid off.

Though faced with the outside draw in the ex-jockeys’ race, Tiley was determined to get straight across the field to lead in the 1000-metre dash aboard The Show, who is trained by her husband, Nigel, and raced on the day as Interval, one of her favourite winners.

“The way the barriers were set up there was a straight line from the outside gate to the first bend and I took it,” said Tiley. “We got across pretty easily and from there on just kept going.”

Despite Jim Collett throwing everything at his mount, All In Fun (registered as Raadical Jazz), Tiley had the race won comfortably and Collett had to settle for second, while Paul Richards guided Random Chance (Shillelagh) into third ahead of Stephen Autridge’s mount, Altitude (Chadsdale).

As expected there was plenty of banter between riders both before and after the race. And watching the reply in the jockeys’ room afterwards the modern-day jockeys had a laugh or two with the former hoops.

“Steve can’t go on about me being three-wide after that ride,” quipped Opie Bosson as he watched Autridge trapped wide out.

The Classic Jockeys Series Stakes proved one of the features of racing at Te Rapa today with the birdcage fence lined with on-lookers, including jockeys, and everyone making their way to the front of the stands to get a closer look at the top riders from past years.

Unfortunately for Bob Vance, it was a short-lived appearance. Vance and his mount McGinty (Magic Moment) parted company when about to do their preliminary.

“He just slipped,” said Vance. “It’s a shame but no damage done. I’ll be back for the second one (in the two-race series) next month.”

Bob Vance in a jovial mood with Earl Harrison despite his mount slipping and dropping him in the preliminary

Bob Vance in a jovial mood with Earl Harrison despite his mount slipping and dropping him in the preliminary

Vance was soon on his feet and shared a joke with race organiser Earl Harrison as he made his way back to the birdcage while his riderless mount was being caught and declared a late scratching.

Later Vance mentioned he reckons his great mate TG (Tony) Williams, who died last week and for whom each rider wore a black armband, would have had a laugh over the pre-race incident.

The competitiveness of the former jockeys was illustrated in the time the 1000-metre maiden event took. The Show cut it out in 58.62 seconds, which was just 0.66 seconds slower than Cambridge-trained two-year-old Billy Mojo took to run the same trip in the first event, the Frontier Bloodstock 1000.

 

The riders, who had won 6655 races in New Zealand between them, were introduced to the crowd as he or she headed out to the centre of the birdcage to shake hands with the race sponsor, Sir Patrick Hogan, and later line up for a group photo. All were given a deserved round of applause.

“I think it’s been a great success,” said Harrison. “Actually all the riders seemed to come through it well. Mind you I’m betting a few of them will be pretty sore tomorrow.”

The second and final leg of the Classic Jockeys Series will be held at the Waikato Racing Club meeting at Te Rapa on December 20.


Sir Patrick Hogan with the competitors from left to right (squatting) Stephen Autridge, Kevin Morton and Bob Vance, (middle) Paul Richards), (back row) Jim Collett, Lee Tiley, Linda Ballantyne, Chad Ormsby, Bruce Herd and Darren Weatherley.

Sir Patrick Hogan with the competitors from left to right (squatting) Stephen Autridge, Kevin Morton and Bob Vance, (middle) Paul Richards), (back row) Jim Collett, Lee Tiley, Linda Ballantyne, Chad Ormsby, Bruce Herd and Darren Weatherley.