Patrick Nkosi: Young trainer Jared Rugg had an exceptional day at the office today, saddling four winners at Flamingo Park – three of which were ridden by talented jockey Nicolas Patel.
“This is my record. I’ve had a three a couple of times, but never four. Four is my record at the moment, I’m chuffed,” said an excited Rugg.
Hateya justified 17-10 favouritism for the trainer in Race 1, cruising to a comfortable 2.25-length victory under jockey Jarryd Penny.
“I thought she could win today,” admitted Rugg. “I made her the best on the day so the pressure’s a little bit off now.”
Following decent performances at Greyville, 9-2 fancy Monsieur Blanco destroyed his rivals in Race 3 – winning by an extending 6.25 lengths under a confident ride by Patel. “We always fancied him so we figured we might as well have a good go on him,” said Patel.
That race was not without controversy for the trainer. His runner, Lord Defender, took a nasty fall at the top of the straight, dislodging jockey Jarryd Penny. Fortunately Penny got back up and, fulfilled his riding commitments.
“It’s not a great situation losing a horse in the race. It’s a bit tough, but we’ll take the win,” said a sombre Rugg.
Patel produced a moment of brilliance in Race 4 aboard House Hunter (10-1). He overcame the widest draw of all, coming from the back of the field to win going away, impressively denying 55-1 outsider Yelloclover by 0.20 lengths.
Russian Saint in Race 6 was the last winner for the jockey-trainer combination in Race 6. Patel hit the front aboard the Russian Sage gelding at the 400m marker, extending with each stride taken to win by 1.50 lengths.
“Certain horses just run for certain people and I think he just gets along with me,” said Patel when commenting on the fact he is yet to taste defeat aboard the five-year-old gelding in two outings.
This isn’t the first time Patel has ridden a hat-trick at a meeting. “This the third time I’ve ridden three winners on a day. I’m chasing Jarryd (Penny) now to beat him on four,” he joked.
One from the stable worth following is L’ Optimiste. The gelding remained consistent in Race 2, finishing an encouraging fourth and the son of Warm White Night will not remain a maiden for long. It could pay to follow next time.