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Tim’s wins add a touch of Grace

Racing fashion: Woolamai races attracted a great crowd to the course on Saturday including these elegantly dressed ladies Brittany Fenton, Ashley Draper, Ashleigh Cox and Holly Powell.

By Gavin Stubbs

IN any sport, it is always enthralling to watch a talented youngster coming through the ranks and leaving an imprint at an early stage of their career and this appears to be the case with rider Tim Grace, who rode a double at Woolamai racecourse on Saturday afternoon.
The 18 year old jockey from Wangaratta showed judgement and poise in the saddle beyond his years to bookend the program, with both wins by the narrowest of margins.
Coming from a racing family has held Tim in good stead as he embarks on his riding career, with three older brothers as jockeys of which two still ride professionally and his father is a trainer.
Saturday’s two wins were followed up with another at Yea on Sunday at their picnic meeting, bringing Grace’s winning tally to an impressive twelve wins to date this season.
Under bright blue skies and with the gentlest of ocean breezes present, conditions presented ideally for racegoers who turned out in large numbers amidst the typical relaxed country atmosphere.
It didn’t take long for the racing action to unfold as the first race over 1600 metres got underway and it was a thriller. Locally trained horse Our Cee Bee prevailed by a short half head after a stirring duel up the home straight with the Pakenham trained Heaven’s Reject, landing Tim Grace the first winner of the afternoon.
It was also a victory for race club president and Woolamai trainer of Our Cee Bee Robert Carmichael, who puts in a great deal of time and care with his horses and no doubt would have taken pride in the win.
The victory took on added significance as wife Bev is club secretary and daughter Cindy is clerk of the course at Woolamai and all were on hand to witness Our Cee Bee get the judge’s nod.
Race two over 1500 metres also contained action aplenty as several runners vied for a prominent position for a majority of the race, which setting a cracking pace.
Sitting toward the rear of the field were the Cranbourne trained Evening Spirit and rider Maddison Morris, playing the waiting game and watching it all unfold up front.
Around the home turn Morris made her move and pounced, sweeping past rivals and going on to record the easiest of wins.
The third race of the afternoon was over the distance of 2000 metres and Moe based jockey Caitlin King gave patrons a reminder of her undoubted talent aboard Jaws of Life.
The Sale trained seven year old never went around another runner as King took full advantage of the inside barrier, using her judgement of pace and stop-start tactics to a premium.
Rival jockey Dani Walker was determined to make the race a staying contest aboard Cranbourne horse Mr Gogarty, however King looked to be kidding to adversaries and upon straightening for the run home allowed Jaws of Life rein and the pair shot away to a soft victory.
Race four was run over the sprint journey of 1000 metres and crowd favourite Sally Sells Shells continued on her winning way to make it four wins in succession.
Prepared at Mornington by Bec Waymouth and ridden by mum Debbie, Sally Sells Shells was turned out in superb order and raced away from rivals for another resounding victory.
Handling her progressively tougher assignments with aplomb, the four- year old mare looks set to be Woolamai Horse of the Year, which would cap a wonderful season for trainer Bec who looks to have the Woolamai Trainer’s Premiership all parceled up.
Race five was also over 1000 metres and it was three-year old filly Brightful who chalked up her first win under the guidance of Woolamai Cup winning jockey Max Keenan.
In a competitive affair from the outset, Keenan produced Brightful at the correct moment to score, with the win bringing great satisfaction to trainer and father Alan Keenan as it was his first winner at the Woolamai circuit.
The final event on the card, also over the sprint distance, once again had Tim Grace finding himself under immense pressure as his mount Go One Better engaged in a battle up the straight with rivals.
It was case of veteran versus rookie as the second horse, Major Patterson, was ridden by “Razor” Ray Douglas who has decades of experience to call upon and was challenging for victory.
Panic, or even being overawed however just didn’t come under consideration for Grace as he calmly responded with his mount and the pair held sway in the final strides as they navigated their path to the winning post.
Club vice president and race caller Adam Olszanski noted it was another terrific day for the Race Club and added his thoughts; “We have had a great turnout with crowd numbers and it’s wonderful to again see many families here enjoying a day at the races. Plenty of enthusiasm from patrons added to the afternoon in addition to some great racing action. No doubt the highlight was the performance of Tim Grace who really looks a rider of considerable promise.”
As Woolamai begins planning for its last meeting of the season on March 17, surely young jockey Tim Grace will look back at Saturday afternoon as an important stepping stone on a career that to date continues to tick plenty of boxes.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27684

Posted by on Feb 26 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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