By Brad Gray
Brenton Avdulla will be out to extend his lead in the Metropolitan Jockey Premiership with five of his nine rides currently TAB favourite in their respective races at Rosehill on Saturday.
The leading hoop sits on 70.5 wins for the season, which is 11.5 ahead of Hugh Bowman who heads north to ride at Doomben this weekend. With Tommy Berry also in Queensland, Avdulla has picked up the ride on boom three-year-old New Universe who has won both of his Australian starts.
“It’s not easy to go from 1200m back to the 1100m and on a track which he found a little tricky. He gets back onto a good surface and although he has a big weight, he deserves it. He looks a very promising horse and I’m looking forward to riding him,” Avdulla said.
New Universe getting the job done last start
Another horse that is building an imposing record under the eye of Chris Waller is Dagny with the four-year-old winning four from five since being transferred from the Melbourne yard of Sam Pritchard-Gordon.
“She is a very talented mare and another that won pretty stylishly last start. She has a big weight too but she has drawn well and if she repeats the run of the other day she should be winning again.”
Dagny booted clear last start
Kicking off Avdulla’s full book of rides is two-year-old filly Intrinsic in the TAB Handicap (1200m) with the daughter of So You Think impressing on debut at Wyong.
“She loomed up stylishly and just wasn’t really sure how to put them away. She gets the inside gate, has 53.5kg on her back and although it’s a competitive two-year-old race I’m sure she’ll run well,” Avdulla said.
Untapped filly Intrinsic winning on debut
Avdulla will be partnering with the three aforementioned gallopers for the first time but one filly he is familiar with is Walk The Streets.
“I thought her run was super the other day. She was stiff to not win but in saying that Pelorus Jack franked the form again at Warwick Farm. The only thing with her is that she has drawn a bit awkwardly and she goes back slightly in distance but Rosehill should suit her.”
Walk The Street was unlucky last start
Meanwhile, Avdulla was impressed with the way Shiraz trialled up ahead of his return in Octagonal Handicap (1400m).
“I thought this preparation he looks to have come back in really good order. He trialled super. He is first-up over 1400m so Kim (Waugh) will have him ready to rock and roll and if he is anywhere near his best he’ll be very hard to beat.”
Shiraz's recent Wyong barrier trial - May 22
It’s been a steady rise to the top for Avdulla who puts his success this season down to taking the opportunities that have presented themselves.
“This season is the most I have ridden and we’ve still got a couple of months to go so hopefully I can keep building on that.”
“I am a big believer in that horse racing is all about opportunities and you’ve got to make the most of them when they come. Whether it is from working hard, certain jockeys not being around or certain stables thriving I’ve just tried to make the most of it this season.”
Avdulla would be forgiven for having a cursory look in the revision mirror to make sure Hugh Bowman is still at arm’s length as far as the premiership standings go but that’s not in Avdulla’s nature. ‘The Gun’, as he is affectionately known by a legion of loyal punters, tends to only look forward.
“All I can do is keep going to the races and trying to give my rides every chance to go home with a winner every day. That’s what I’ve been doing all season so I don’t see any reason to change things.”