The trainer-jockey combo of Gwenda Markwell and Keagan Latham helped both claim premierships last season and they’ll be looking to put it to good effect again at Kembla Grange on Saturday.
Markwell and Latham will combine for three rides at the first meeting of the new season as both celebrate their newly acquired premierships.
It was no surprise to see Markwell defend her title as Kembla’s leading trainer after the Group 1 winning trainer finished the season with 28 winners in 2018-19.
Markwell also won the overall trainers title while her strong relationship with Latham helped him win the Kembla jockeys crown.
On Saturday Latham will ride Philanthropist (race four), Chicansalade (race six) and Chicadilly (race seven) for Markwell.
Latham rates Chicadilly the best of the bunch and mare will contest the Horsley Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m).
“I really like Chicadilly,” Latham said.
“Although she was a little disappointing last start, she seems to hang a bit and Wyong has got a long bend. She just hung the whole way out.
“Now she is a back at her home track where she has won two races already I think she will give a good account of herself.”
Chicansalade will be looking to return to form in ‘The Gong’ 23rd November Class Handicap (1400m) after finishing at rear of the field last time out.
Philanthropist gets the chance to breakthrough in the Rose Todner Appreciation Maiden Handicap (1400m).
“Philanthropist can be a bit difficult but I think he does have the ability deep down,” Latham said.
“He gets a bit wound up before races so the main thing is trying to keep him cool calm and collected, I think he can be involved in the finish.”
Latham also has rides for Rick Worthington, John O’Shea and James Cummings.
Latham has only had a handful of rides in the past for Godolphin and partners a pair of promising gallopers in Amitto and Camp Rifle.
Amitto is first-up in the Dapto Maiden Plate (1200m) and Camp Rifle makes his debut in the Kembla Grange Maiden Plate (1200m).
“I’ve only had about six of seven rides for them and they have only recently started showing me support which is a huge plus,” Latham said.
“They are a massive part of racing here in Australia and when you ride for big stables like that other trainers want to start using you as well because if you’re good enough for them, you’re good enough for others.”