This evening I’m riding at Pakenham for the night meeting. The rail is out nine metres and the track is rated in the good range.
Race 1 is the Racing.com 4YO & Up Maiden Plate over 1200 metres, my ride here is JULINKA who is trained by Danny O’Brien. This four-year-old mare by Sebring is raced by Gerry Harvey and is making her debut this evening. She had two official trials last year in New South Wales before being transferred into her new trainers’ care. She has had a recent jumpout at Flemington in preparation for her debut where she wasn’t asked to do too much. She will start from an inside barrier draw and I’m looking forward to seeing how she performs under raceday pressure and conditions for the first time.
Race 3 is the Shanks Electrical Maiden Plate over 1400 metres, my ride here is ZOUTELLUS who is trained by Ken & Kasey Keys. This three-year-old gelding by Zoustar has had four starts and hasn’t missed a top three placing, with two second and two third placings to his name. I rode him for the first time when he resumed this preparation last start at this course over 1200 metres. We started from a wide barrier draw and had to do a lot of work in the early stages to get to the front and he put in a really good effort in finishing second, only half-a-length from the winner. He has drawn more favourably here and the step up in distance should be to his advantage. If he runs up to his last start he is the horse they all have to beat.