A crack at a Group One race in Queensland is being seriously considered for lightly raced mare Jamaican Rain after a comfortable win at Moonee Valley.
The Richard Laming-trained five-year-old didn’t let favourite backers down in Saturday’s Goodlife Essendon Handicap (1500m), sitting outside the leader before taking over rounding the home turn.
The $2.20 favourite kicked clear under jockey Brian Park and had 1-1/4 lengths to spare on the line over Hectopascal ($9), with Miss Clooney ($10) another two lengths away third.
“She’s got above average ability and it’s good to see her win,” Laming said.
“We’ll just see how she pulls up. Hopefully if the tracks suit her in Brisbane she’ll go up there.
“There’s a couple of races for her and if it’s rain-affected she’ll be right in them.”
Jamaican Rain’s second victory from as many races this campaign took her overall record to five wins from 10 starts and Laming said the Group One Tattersall’s Tiara for fillies and mares at Doomben this month was on the radar.
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“It is, especially if it’s wet,” he said.
“She’s really likes the wet and I think against that grade on a wet track she’s probably got a good chance, provided she pulls up well from here of course.
“She’s a mare that’s probably just getting better as she gets older. We’ve been very patient and we’re getting rewarded for it now.”
The victory was also significant for 37-year-old Park, who landed his first city win since his return to riding earlier this year.
The jockey, who won the Group One Goodwood in Adelaide in 2002 on Zip Zip Aray, was out of the saddle for three years before returning earlier this season.
“I came back around eight months ago. I had nearly three years off,” he said.
“I did my shoulder then had a few little hiccups along the way so I had to sort of start from scratch when I got back, get my weight right down and I’ve been riding for Richie now for the last couple of months or so.
“I’ve been doing the work at home for him and he’s putting me on anything, so I’m very grateful.”