By Ray Hickson
Jockey Koby Jennings is far from a household name and he’s well aware of that fact so guiding Bobbing to victory in the $500,000 Polytrack Provincial Championships Final (1400m) on Day 2 of The Championships will resonate for a long time.
The 24-year-old largely plies his trade in the country and provincial areas and big race rides are rare – and that’s why Bobbing’s win meant so much.
“This is my biggest win to date,’’ Jennings said.
“Going back to the provincials each weekend and trying to make a name for myself has paid off and I’ve been rewarded in this way.”
Bobbing, who only qualified for the final in the last heat where he ran second to Turnberry at Wyong, was brought with a well timed run by Jennings, appreciating a solid tempo, sweeping on the lead 200m out to down Spring Charlie and Chalmers.
Jennings said there wasn’t a moment in the race he thought Bobbing wasn’t going to pick them up.
“He was way too strong and way too tough,’’ he said.
“I pretty much did the same thing as what I did at Wyong. He proved today he was too good.
Bobbing for Bernie Kelly and Koby Jennings is the 2019 Polytrack Provincial Championships winner! pic.twitter.com/rABotp5BQ3
— The ChaⓂ️pionships (@ChampionshipsRR) April 13, 2019
“I knew he was going to be good enough to win this. I actually started to get a bit nervous and I don’t usually get nervous.”
While the win is a triumph for Jennings it’s just as special for trainer Bernie Kelly.
He’d endured a frustrating month prior to Bobbing making it to Wyong as small issues, wet tracks causing barrier trials to be called off and being forced to trained the horse largely on the Polytrack at Hawkesbury – appropriate given the sponsorship of the race.
“I had him in three heats,’’ Kelly said.
“It was a bit frustrating, first time he had a bit of a throat infection, second time he probably wasn’t quite ready so we went with some caution and we had to roll the dice in the last heat at Wyong.”
Kelly appeared a bit stunned after Bobbing’s win – fair enough considering he put his life on hold to get the gelding to the Provincial Championships.
He’d purchased a property and planned to relocate to Scone but there were delays with the sale going through, in the meantime he’d sold his Hawkesbury base and spent the last week leading into the Final living in the Hawkesbury Race Club Hotel.
“Koby was probably more confident than I was,’’ Kelly said.
“There was natural improvement. I was more happy this week than the previous week. I was pretty confident in his base that he would run well.
“I’m just glad we got him over the line today. Gets the monkey off my back a little bit. It’s been a long time coming for me.’’