Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Former WA jockey Damian Lane will contest his maiden Group 1 race in South Australia this Saturday when the now Flemington-based young gun rides Amaethon in the 2013 The Goodwood at Morphettville.
Lane made a move from Bunbury to Flemington in the autumn of 2011 where he is a regular rider for the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra stable, continuing that association this weekend with Al Maher six-year-old Amaethon.
Lane rode the gelding first-up at Caulfield on March 20 for a brave second to African Pulse in a 1000m sprint, the horse carrying a hefty 60.5kg while the winner had just 52.5kg on their back and jumping from barrier 12 of 12.
That was the six-year-old’s first run in a year.
For Amaethon’s next run on April 20 Chris Symons took over riding duties but the horse could only manage to finish seventh to Vatican.
Amaethon gets their chance to atone on Saturday and win their maiden Group race in the $500,000 Group 1 The Distinctive Homes Goodwood (1200m) where they reunite with Lane who is fresh off a winning double at Flemington last Saturday.
“I’ve ridden a few winners for Mathew and David lately and it’s great that they’ve rewarded me with an opportunity in such a good race,” Lane, 19, said.
“It’ll be my first ride in a Group 1, so I’m excited and the stable’s been having a great run as well.
“Hopefully it’s perfect timing.”
Lane may have only been aboard the horse under race conditions once before but he has ridden Amaethon, a half-brother to the ill-fated 2010 Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily who was second to Lone Rock in The Goodwood two years ago, plenty of times in trackwork.
“If I could win with a horse like Amaethon, who we work with every day, it would be great,” he said.
The duo have drawn barrier 14 of 18 and get in well with 54.5kg under the set weights plus penalties conditions.
This is a massive six kilo relief from the weight they’ve carried for their last two runs in Melbourne and also sees them meet the $2.10 favourite Moment Of Change four kilos better.
In the current The Goodwood odds Amaethon is rated a $15 chance occupying the fifth line of betting and while wary of the competition which also includes triple Group 1 winning mare Yosei ($8) and smart Queensland sprinter Facile Tigre ($8.50), Lane still believes he’s on a good horse with a genuine shot at the Group 1 trophy.
“He’s going as good as he can,” Lane said.
“There are obviously some high-class horses in the field and Saturday will only tell whether he can match that class, but he’s done everything right so far and I couldn’t be happier with him.”
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