Winning advice by Innes

Pilgrim (Shaun Fannin) racing away to a decisive maiden win at Matamata.

Pilgrim (Shaun Fannin) racing away to a decisive maiden win at Matamata.

John Bell is grateful to Leith Innes, even though he had to find another rider for his Cornwall Handicap charge Storming The Tower.

Innes had been successful on Storming The Tower at Tauranga on March 26 and been runner-up on him in his next two starts before Vinnie Colgan rode him to victory in the Rotorua Cup.But because of prior engagements in Queensland this weekend he will not be available to take the mount at Ellerslie on Saturday.

“Leith rang me the other day and he said he had to get off Storming The Tower because he was riding in Queensland,” said the Cambridge trainer. “Fair enough and I’m happy to get Sam Collett for Storming The Tower.

“Sam came out and rode him in work and she came back with a smile on her face.

“I’ll give Storming The Tower this run on Saturday then the Kiwifruit Cup and he can go out after that.”

While Bell won’t have Innes’ services this weekend he was pleased with a bit of advice he received from the top jockey on Pilgrim leading into the first race at Matamata yesterday.

“Leith rode him last start and got off and said he needed blinkers and a wet track,” said Bell. “He was right.

“He got both today and it worked out well.”

Bell is also thankful to Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers for playing his part in Pilgrim’s win yesterday.

“I was without riders for both my horses — Pilgrim and Four Day High — so I gave Kevin Myers a ring and he said he’d set me up. He got me Shaun (Fannin) and Kayla (Veenendaal).”

Myers secured Shaun Fannin for Pilgrim and the leading jumps jockey did the trick, settling him midfield on the outside and working up to challenge on the home turn.

Pilgrim soon took control and drew clear over the final stages to win by three and a half lengths.

“He’s a nice strong horse,” said Bell, who also owns Pilgrim. “He’s done a bit of jumping and that’s helped.

“He’s got a nice future.”