Milestone wins have been achieved at Sandown by apprentice jockeys at different stages of their careers.
Jye McNeil landed his 80th metropolitan winner when Fudged won the Ladbrokes Handicap on Wednesday to outride his claim while mature-age apprentice Melissa Julius landed a winner at her first ride in town on La Fleurette in the Yarramalong Racing Club Handicap.
Riders in the race won by Julius wore black armbands as a mark of respect for Rebecca Black who died on Sunday following a race fall in New Zealand.
Julius had a fall at Geelong last week that left her battered and bruised.
“What a week,” Julius said.
“I’ve still got stitches in my face and a bit of a shiner but as I said to the owners it would have taken a lot more than that once I got permission to ride that little girl here.”
Julius said she was remarkably calm before the race and once aboard Le Fleurette said it was just another race.
McNeil feared he wouldn’t outride his claim before his apprenticeship finishes on January 2.
He was granted an extension after an accident at Bendigo in March left him sidelined with a broken leg for five months.
“It was really hard to get going again,” McNeil said.
“Not only was I coming back from that injury but it was in the middle of spring.
“With seven winners to go it made it a bit harder than what it would have been if it was in winter.
“I was worried about not getting there, especially going into last Saturday where I still had two to go.”
For good measure he later rode Deja Blue to victory in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap.
Visiting South African champion apprentice Callan Murray guided Barjeel to win the Dream Thoroughbreds Plate in the Shadwell Stud colours.
He is due to return to South Africa and complete his apprenticeship on January 20.
“My visa is for three months and if it went well I would consider extending it,” Murray said.
“I would move over in a heartbeat if I could.
“I must say a big thank you to Angus Gold and Sheikh Hamdan.
“It’s an honour riding winners in these colours. I’ve ridden a few in them back home and now I’ve got one on the other side of the globe.”