There was more than a touch of irony to Hawkesbury apprentice Chelsea Ings’ continuing success, at Tamworth on Tuesday. Ings, 23, answered a call from Walgett trainer Richard Jackson to trek to the north-west for two mounts – and it was worth it.
Ings got $41 chance Quietly Confident home by a whisker from Little Shocker ($6.50) in a deceptive finish to the Benchmark 62 Handicap (1400m) – and thereby hangs a tale!
Little Shocker is prepared by leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, who was Quietly Confident’s inaugural mentor. Now an eight-year-old, Quietly Confident won three of his first four starts (at Cessnock, Newcastle and Scone) for Lees.
As both horses slugged out Tuesday’s finish, the general consensus was that Little Shocker had won – but such wasn’t the case. Despite his lengthy odds, Quietly Confident didn’t altogether surprise his current trainer.
“I thought he had a chance, and Chelsea (Ings) was keen on him,” Jackson said. Ings rode the gelding for the first time when, after a freshen up, he finished fifth to Yes Zariz in a Benchmark 60 Handicap (1300m) at Gilgandra on August 19.
Nonetheless, Quietly Confident had not won for almost two years; his previous victory being in a Benchmark 60 Handicap (1300m) at Scone on September 15, 2015 when ridden by another apprentice, Rachel King.
Ings enjoyed easily her most successful season in 2016-17, and has begun the new season in similar form. Earlier this month, she won both the $45,000 Narromine Cup Showcase (A Magiz Zariz) and $35,000 Manning Lightning (Arise Augustus) at the Taree Cup carnival.
Tuesday’s success on Quietly Confident was the 27th of her career. Her other Tamworth mount, $81 chance Koori Flyer, finished eighth in the Benchmark 55 Handicap (1200m).