English jockey Neil Farley has wasted little time finding his way into the winners' stall in Australia.
We wanted a horse to race at Burrumbeet so we could have a good day out.”trainer Nick Smart
Farley opened his Australian account by guiding Ballarat galloper Gondoliera ($4.40) to victory in the McKinnon Seed Cleaning Benchmark52, 1350m, at Burrumbeet on Monday.
It was only Farley’s fourth race ride since joining the Ballarat stable of another English ex-pat Archie Alexander, with him having his first taste at Penshurst on Boxing Day.
From the stable of another Ballarat newcomer in Nick Smart, Gondoliera dashed away from Dame Lago ($2.70 favourite), with Melomane ($6) filling third.
Farley, who has ridden more than 160 winners, said the move to Australia was all about getting more opportunities.
The 25-year-old said once a jockey out-rode their claim it became tough with such big jockey ranks in England.
Farley said he initially put out feelers about the possibility of relocating downunder through a contact in Western Australia and it had been via that enquiry that he secured a spot with Alexander.
Farley, who can ride at 54kg, has been in Ballarat six weeks and is already enjoying the experience.
“I like the style of racing.”
He said getting a win at Burrumbeet was all about making the most of the opportunities.
Smart was equally delighted with the success of Gondoliera – a mare he purchased to specifically race at Burrumbeet on Monday.
He outlayed just $2000, with the five-year-old earning $5500 with the second win of her career.
“We wanted a horse to race at Burrumbeet so we could have a good day out.”
Smart said by the way Gondoliera won, they might get more than a Burrumbeet win out of her.
Gondoliera was previously trained by Anne McGrath at Warrnambool. Smart said McGrath had done a great job with the mare and he not needed to do much in the short time he had had her.
Like Farley, the win was Smart's first at Burrumbeet in what is his first full season based in Ballarat after relocating from Adelaide.
Smart said he was basically rebuilding his stable, with just the 10 horses in work, and was pleased with the progress he was making.
He said he was looking forward to stepping up his operation once the Ballarat Turf Club constructed a new barn complex for him.
Gondoliera gave Smart his third win in a month.