Converting her first Ascot ride into her first Ascot winner was elementary for Holly Watson, the jockey being one of four human participants to post their first victories at Western Australian thoroughbred racing’s headquarters.
Watson’s Est1978 Narrogin Maiden Handicap win aboard Paul Jordan-trained filly Convention does not count as a city victory for the apprentice rider because the meeting was transferred from the Wheatbelt region to the metropolitan area, but it does count as an Ascot triumph nevertheless.
Jessica Gray, Michael Hackett and, at long last, Keith Reeves joined Watson on the Ascot honour roll during the eight-race provincial meeting in town. Gray’s second Ascot start resulted in Carmurlea winning the Levi Baggio-Scott Handicap and trainer Darryn Pateman saddling the quinella. Hackett’s fifth Ascot runner, Chriselle, fared considerably better than his first four, which had beaten three rivals in total. Chriselle won the Klun Racing Maiden Handicap under Natasha Faithfull at odds of 25-1. And in stark contrast to Watson, Gray and Hackett, Reeves ended his 20-year-plus wait for an Ascot victory when Madi Derrick steered Artic Blue to his Whitford Fertilisers Narrogin Handicap win.
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