By Tony Megahey
In a spectacular first season apprenticeship, Patrick Scorse is striving for a rare regional Cups double at Monday’s booming TAB Moruya Cup and Town Plate meeting.
At 19, the son of Sky Racing presenter and multiple Group One-winning jockey John Scorse, Patrick became one of the youngest jockeys to win the prestigious Ted Ryder Listed Cup at Wagga Wagga in late December. Patrick rides the Moruya Cup favourite, promising ex-New Zealander, Director.
Scorse, who leads the ACT jockeys’ premiership and has 33 wins this season, is indentured to Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones who are also enjoying a stellar country Cups season after winning the Ryder feature and Gundagai’s Snake Gully Cup with Mercurial Lad.
Stablemate Almost Court won the recent Narooma Cup, his fourth wins from five starts for the stable, and races in the same interests as Director, with Almost Court sure to be a pronounced favourite for the upcoming Bega Cup at the lucrative two-day Sapphire Carnival on Feb 3 and 4.
Director, raced by New Zealand multi-millionaire property developer and trainer Brian Court, has his 59kg reduced by Patrick’s 2.5kg claim for the 1650m $40,000 North Ryde RSL Cup. The Moruya Mitre 10 Town Plate is worth $30,000.
Meanwhile, for the Scorse boys, the Moruya form preview started on Friday afternoon returning in searing heat from the Albury TAB meeting.
“It’s been unreal to have this success so early, but I’ve been fortunate enough to be given the opportunities as the boss has a really strong team at the moment,” Patrick explained. “I’ve ridden Director regularly in work since he came over, he’s impressive and really well educated.
“Dad said his 1600m Riccarton wins are the equivalent of Saturday city class. But the big thing is the boss and I have been working him constantly the reverse way of going on their tight track at home so he’ll handle Moruya.
“He’s adapted on the other leg impressively.He’s got the turn of foot, so I’d imagine the instructions will be to lead or be right on pace from barrier seven.But this horse just relaxes arches his neck and rolls. And although he hasn’t raced since November, he’s as ready as we can get him.”
John Scorse agreed: “He looks really smart, it’s a strong regional field as always, but he’s the horse to beat,” said John, who won the 1996 Ryder for Barbara. John was back home after riding champion Placid Ark to win the 1987 Newmarket, Oakleigh Plate and Lightning Stakes.
“I hope Patrick rides Director as well as he did Mercurial Lad in the Ryder. That was his best ride yet, I was proud of the way Patrick rated him, and at Moruya where it’s a tight leader’s track, that’s the key to it again.He’s got to judge the pressure and tempo and I’m confident he will.”
Patrick also has strong prospects in the opening event on Banja Luka, a Stonefish Wines Maiden (1010m).
“I’ve ridden him before in a race and jump out, he’s a lightly-raced improver, can fly the lids with the speed to suit Moruya.”
Moruya will race on a good four track rating in fine conditions with a capacity crowd anticipated for their feature meeting of the season.