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Collett sets his sights on Gold

jason collett
Group One-winning jockey Jason Collett has a strong book at Rosehill including Nicci’s Gold.

Fresh from landing an overdue Group One win, Jason Collett will look to keep his momentum rolling at Rosehill where he has a strong book of nine rides for eight different trainers.

Collett was widely considered the best jockey in Australia not to have won at the elite level before he finally got his moment in the sun at Eagle Farm last Saturday when he guided the Chris Waller-trained Invincibella to victory in the Tattersall’s Tiara.

It was a moment to savour for the hoop, who said the breakthrough brought a mixture of excitement and relief.

“It was what I’d been working towards and I finally achieved it,” Collett said.

There has not been much time to celebrate with Collett riding at Hawkesbury, Randwick and Kembla Grange midweek and that will not quieten down this weekend – he is booked for rides in all nine races at Rosehill.

His mounts include Nicci’s Gold for trainer Gary Portelli in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) with the mare earning a shot at stakes grade after a strong come-from-behind win at Rosehill earlier this month.

She will have 13 rivals including proven stakes performer Deploy, the Waller-trained trio of Seaway, Sir Bacchus and New Universe and possibly Godolphin’s Organza, although he has also been accepted for the Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on the same day.

“It’s a step up on Saturday and she’s probably not the best weighted horse, but in saying that I don’t think it looks an overly strong Civic Stakes and a heavy to soft track is really going to benefit her,. She relishes that sort of going,” Collett said.

“She’s worked her way to that level and now she gets her opportunity to try to get a stakes win for her page.”

The Waller-trained So You Win, odds-on favourite for the Kensei Handicap (2000m), shapes as the clear top pick of Collett’s mounts on the program but perhaps the horse he is most looking forward to riding is Travencore, trained by his partner Clare Cunningham.

The five-year-old weaved through the field and accelerated away from the pack to score an impressive win at Canterbury last start, showing a turn of foot that encouraged Cunningham to raise the bar.

“His first two runs he probably hadn’t shown that turn of foot,” Collett said.

“His runs had been OK, but we knew there was more there and he hadn’t quite shown it, so that was very pleasing for me and Clare to see that.”

Collett’s remaining rides include the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained Kellstorm in the Stayer’s Cup (3200m) and the enigmatic Drachenfels in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1200m).

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