Hawkesbury-based apprentice Qin Yong earned high praise from talented country trainer Clint Lundholm after producing a superb winning ride at Wellington on Tuesday.
Notching his seventh Australian success hot on the heels of his first local double at Mudgee last Saturday, the Chinese-born 28-year-old scored on Lundholm’s Fire Flight ($3.70 favourite) in the Class 2 Handicap (1400m) against her own sex.
“This kid is something special; he can really ride,” Dubbo-based Lundholm said afterwards. “
He rode to instructions and got the win. Qin Yong stuck to the fence, and showed his real ability.”
Fire Flight was the popular young jockey’s second winner for Lundholm; having also scored on Joey’s Destiny for him at Dubbo earlier this month.
Fire Flight, a well-bred Northern Meteor four-year-old, has now won three of her last four starts since owner Paul Frampton sent her to Dubbo as a maiden to join Lundholm’s team.
Fire Flight shed her maiden status at Dubbo in March and then scored again at the annual Merriwa meeting last month. Even though Fire Flight got well back in yesterday’s race, Qin Yong persevered for an inside run on straightening – and it paid off handsomely.
He saved valuable ground by staying near the inside, and simply had to come around the heels of eventual third placegetter, $91 chance Gottakeepthefaith, in the straight. Once Qin Yong got Fire Flight into the clear, she quickly hit the front and the race was over.
Qin Yong’s Australian career has blossomed under the guidance of his master, Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup: “Gerry”, as he is nicknamed, broke through on Azzie’s Ready at the Wellington Boot meeting on April 8, then scored on Boyer for his master at Canberra 12 days later.
Lundholm’s Joey’s Destiny was his third winner, at Dubbo on May 6, and the following day he won on Perfect Times at Gunnedah for Azzie’s Ready’s Quirindi trainer Peter Mills.
Qin Yong’s Mudgee double last Saturday was achieved on Widdup’s Underground and fellow Hawkesbury trainer Terry Croft’s No Escape, and his country allowance has now been reduced to 3kg.
Qin Yong has been given a good opportunity to make a provincial breakthrough at Hawkesbury on Thursday by local trainer Joan Pracey. She has booked him for King’s Tariff in the Irresistible Pools & Spas Benchmark 65 Handicap (1000m).
Pracey’s gelding is a first-up winner and has also been placed on four occasions when resuming. Qin Yong’s 3kg claim brings King’s Tariff in with 58kg, only 4kg above the limit.