Kiwi makes bold decision
THERE was a flash of pink both on and off the track at yesterday's eight-event race program at Lismore Turf Club.
Fashionable jockey Laura Cheshire wore a flash of pink on her riding boots and one boofy Marist Brothers rugby league player wore pink shorts during their end-of-season 'Mad Monday' celebrations.
While the Marist boys didn't look like they were backing too many winners, it was a different story for Cheshire.
The Kiwi hoop chased a ride on New Zealand gelding Bold Contact in the Budget Eyewear Rating 62 Handicap (2000m) and it paid off handsomely for her.
Bold Contact ($9) proved too strong for Sittinbul, finishing a neck in front of the $6 shot, with a further long neck to the $2.20 favourite Handsome Dane in third place. The Gold Coast-based jockey has been in Australia for two years but remembered Bold Contact well from her days in the land of the long white cloud.
“I got on the horse because it was a New Zealand horse and I've run into him time and time again,” Cheshire said. “I used to ride him in work in New Zealand when I was an apprentice and I finally got the chance to ride him again on the Gold Coast.”
That was on August 15 when Bold Contact finished third over 2200m.
“I rang the trainer from New Zealand who used to have him and said, 'What should we do with him?', Cheshire said.
“My thoughts were to lead but he had no speed out of the barriers you really had to drive him to get there.
“Today was the same. He can't go with them early but as soon as they put the brakes on, I just thought, 'I'll just go around them and go to the front'. If he is in front he really knuckles down.”
It was Cheshire's second winner for the day after scoring on another Gold Coast-based horse, Tessitura, in the first race of the day, the Ballina Airport Car Storage Maiden Handicap (1100m).
Cheshire said she liked coming to the country race meetings like Lismore because of the friendlier atmosphere.
“The trainers here don't expect as much - if you win on their horse they are rapt. Whereas the bigger trainers you can win on their horse and they expect it,” she said.
And the jockey certainly stood out from her contemporaries with pink flashing on her riding boots and brightly painted pink fingernails.
“Everything is pink,” she said. “Pink gloves, pink helmet ... everything that can be is pink.”