Young Kiwi jockey Jason Collett is hoping Sweet Kiss can get the job done in Saturday’s Inglis Classic 2013 at Rosehill Gardens as he chases his 25th metropolitan winner.
Collett has been back racing in Sydney for the past five months having gone home to New Zealand for a stint riding for a number of trainers including big name horseman Chris Waller who also hails from NZ and who Collett says he owes a lot to.
“As much as he is a good trainer, I think he is an even better businessman and he has taught me a lot in terms of how to conduct myself,” Collett, 21, said.
“I owe a lot to Chris for his support in first getting me across to Sydney, then supporting me and also giving me opportunities once I have come out of my time.
“When I first came across I didn’t really have goals but Chris has drilled in to me that I should have goals and set something to work towards.
“I don’t want to say what they are but they are progressing well and I am on track.”
Saturday Collett partners a Gary Nickson-trained juvenile with Strada filly Sweet Kiss racing for the fourth time in the $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) and surely one of his “goals” is to get her over the line first in the restricted feature.
A $15,000 buy from last year’s Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sales, Sweet Kiss won on debut at Newcastle back in November before a brave third behind the Bjorn Baker-trained duo Twilight Royale (1st) and Fuerza (2nd) in the Inglis Nursery Stakes in December.
Last start she was somewhat disappointing however when Collett rode her for the first time for her fifth, beaten three lengths, behind Swing Vote in a 2YO Plate over 1000m at Warwick Farm where she struggled to find a nice position from her wide barrier 11 (of 11) draw.
“She should have finished a lot closer,” Collett said of her last run on January 5.
“I got shunted wide after not being able to slot in and then I got pushed even wider on the point of the turn.
“We lost balance a little bit and she copped a bit of a bump but the most impressive thing was how she ran right through the line.”
Saturday Collett is confident race goers will see improvement with Sweet Kiss drawing the inside alley with barrier one in the capacity field of 14 starters, the hoop having gained confidence after riding the Waller-trained Calming Influence to victory at the track last Saturday from an inside (barrier four) draw.
“I think drawing barrier one (tomorrow) helps a lot, especially with two-year-olds,” he said.
“Last week with Calming Influence, once I found the rail and the horse settled I knew we were going to be hard to beat.
“She (Sweet Kiss) should improve a couple of lengths being on the inside.”
In the latest Inglis Classic odds Sweet Kiss is rated a $13 chance with markets led by Inglis Nursery runner-up Fuerza at an easing price of $3.
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