MEGAN Dunseath has become the first woman to win a jumps race during the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival.
The Northern Ireland-born 27-year-old won the first race of the three-day carnival, taking out Tuesday’s Let’s Make It Grand Maiden Hurdle over 3,200 metres aboard the Paul Preusker-trained Lord Pierro.
Riding confidently, Dunseath sat two-off the fence just handy to the leading pair’s pace.
Cleanly over his hurdles, Lord Pierro worked his way to a length from the lead with three to jump, before taking over prior to the last. Headed in the straight by the Eric Musgrove-trained Buffalo Bill, Dunseath’s hard riding cajoled Lord Pierro to the line to win by a half-length.
“She’s got a ripper, ripper work ethic,” said trainer Paul Preusker. “So I was really happy to give her a go and be rewarded too.”
“I got told yesterday, but I tried not to think about it,” said Dunseath of becoming the first woman to win over jumps at the May Carnival.
“He is such a tough horse, he really is. I was like ‘They’re coming, they’re coming’ but he got there. It was an unbelievable reception.”
Having had her first race ride on the flat at Warrnambool in June last year, this was Dunseath’s first win after 24 career rides, with this, her sixth over the jumps. “I arrived three and a half years ago, I got sponsorship with (former jumps jockey turned trainer) Richard Cully and I’ve been there (Ballarat) since,” said Dunseath who had been working in horse breaking and pre-training in Ireland.
“Warrnambool is just brilliant, I love it. They (the jumps fraternity) are all a brilliant help. They’re all very good and very encouraging.”
Lord Pierro was Dunseath’s only ride for the carnival meeting.
Sherry looks to
a Big Dance ride
TOMMY Sherry landed a Group 3 winner last Saturday, taking out the Hawkesbury Gold Cup over that track’s 1,600 metres aboard the John O’Shea-trained Kirwan’s Lane.
By the Irish-bred stallion Charm Spirit, Kirwan’s Lane went in as a $7 chance before going on to win by a length from the French-bred Motivator gelding Hopeful and the cleverly named Savabeel mare Atishu, out of Posy.
“At the top of the straight, I thought it was only a matter of time before he let down,” said Sherry.
“Perhaps we hit the front too soon, and he was hesitant to go on with the job as he thought his job was done, but he responded really well to the pressure. It was a tough win.”
This was Sherry’s third win on Kirwan’s Lane from his past four starts. John O’Shea will now try to qualify Kirwan’s Lane for the inaugural A$2 million The Big Dance at Randwick on Melbourne Cup Day, a race made up of the winners and runners-up of any of the 25 Country Cups across New South Wales over the year.
“We are going to Scone (Cup, May 13th) and hopefully we can run one-two there and get into The Big Dance,” said O’Shea. “We really look forward to participating in that race on Melbourne Cup Day.”
CHAMPION jockeys Jamie Kah and Hugh Bowman got some first-hand appreciation of jumps racing, schooling a horse each on Monday at Warrnambool with Steven Pateman.
Ironically the footage was taken at the rear fence of retired jumps jockey Shane Jackson’s house which backs onto Brierley Paddock.
“It was unbelievable, the top riders on the land, they’ve plenty of good horses but they’re not worried about schooling a few over fences and I’m sure they enjoyed it as much as we do,” said Jackson
“It was good fun, a real adrenaline rush,” said Bowman, who rode a winner on the flat on Wednesday. “I got a bit loose on the final steeple. The horse took off a bit earlier than I prepared for.”
Kah looked a natural and was keen to go again. “I have walked the course before. It’s given me a lot more respect for jumps jockeys. They’re massive,” she said. Kah rode two winners across the three days.
TRAINER Symon Wilde was on fire on day one of the Warrnambool’s May Carnival. The local trainer had five winners, two maiden hurdle winners; Count Zero and Rider In The Snow, two flat winners; Mio Capo and As I Please, as well as landing the quinella in the feature jump of the day, the A$175,000 Brierly Steeplechase with Vanguard and Britannicus over 3,450 metres.
The pair fought out a thrilling finish, a half-head separating the stablemates with 20 lengths to third. “What a race, I loved the spectacle,” said Wilde.
“Have you ever heard a roar from a crowd? It was like the football or something.
“It was just magnificent. Just the theatre of that was wonderful.