Norvall excited over Easter prospects

Cambridge jockey Rogan Norvall can’t conceal his delight at being back on his favourite horse Veyron in the Group I $200,000 Manco Easter Handicap at Ellerslie tomorrow.

Norvall celebrated his greatest triumph in racing when successful on Veyron in the same event last year, but because of injury he has missed the horse’s other two Group One wins — the Waikato Draught Sprint and
the Haunui Farm WFA Classic. Leith Innes was aboard in the Te Rapa feature and Mark Hills had the mount at Otaki.

But true to her word trainer Linda Laing has wasted no time getting Norvall back on the stable star. And Laing is confident the under-rated rider is ready for the task.

“Knowing what Rogey thinks of Veyron there is no way he would ride him if he didn’t think he was up to it,” said Laing. “There are people questioning us for putting him on so soon after coming back from a fall, but I’ve got faith in him. I would love to see the horse win for him.”

And Norvall is adamant race fitness on his part will not be an issue when he climbs aboard Veyron tomorrow.

“I’ve been swimming and running and I’m fit enough that’s for sure,” said Norvall, who has had five raceday rides since coming back from the fall he suffered at the trials last December.

Norvall was straight back into the saddle on Veyron a day after he resumed riding trackwork and he is confident his favourite horse is ready for tomorrow’s big event, even with his impost of 59kg.

“It’s a stronger race than it was last year and he’s up a bit more in the handicapper, but he’s stronger in himself,” said Norvall. “He’s been working well and I’m just so happy to be back on him. We’ll be trying
hard.”