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English apprentice jockey Kieran Shoemark’s stint in Australia is coming to an end in two weeks and the hoop couldn’t think of a better way to end his summer here than with a win at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
Shoemark will be aboard four horses in the nine-race meeting that is headlined by the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m).
While in the country, the hoop has ridden three winners at Geelong and Seymour as well as a midweek city double at Sandown last week but admits neither would compare to a win at Flemington.
“I never really set goals or aims when I came out here but when I rode my first few winners, that was definitely on the list to do,” Shoemark told Sky Racing.
“Especially being Flemington as well. To get a winner there would be brilliant.”
The 18-year-old hoop is on loan to Danny O’Brien’s stable until February 1 and apprenticed to Andrew Balding.
His first ride on Saturday will be with Quicksilver Lass in the Leonard Handicap (1400m). The Tony Noonan-trained grey mare is an $11 shot in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au after winning a Benchmark 64 Handicap over 1300 metres last time out. The pair will jump from barrier eight.
Shoemark will then saddle Heez Notorious in the Piping Lane Handicap (2000m). He’s retained the ride aboard the Nigel Blackiston-trained gelding after winning the Master Yearlings Heat 5 Handicap (1600m) at Sandown last Wednesday. Heez Notorious is $12 shot after drawing the outside gate.
The hoop’s best chance at success looks to be with Simply You in the Birdcage Handicap (1000m). The three-year-old filly is $4.80 favourite in the betting after drawing the inside jump from barrier one. Simply You has finished in the first three in her two career starts, winning her maiden on debut before a minor placing in the Slickpix Handicap (1000m).
Shoemark’s final ride of the day is with The New Boy in the Craftsman Handicap (1700m). The $15 hopeful will jump from barrier four.
While Shoemark set his minimum riding weight at 53kg in Australia, he has lowered it by 1kg for Saturday so he can claim his full 2kg apprentice jockey claim on all four horses.
“I usually ride at 52 back in the UK but when I came out here, although the weather is hotter, I thought I didn’t want to be riding too light so I put it as 53 and hoped to pick up some good rides at 53,” Shoemark said.
“But a couple of good horses came up at Flemington on Saturday and I’m willing to do the weight.”
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