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Pilley rides first winner in NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Visiting British jockey Patrick Pilley secured his first win in New Zealand when piloting Bridal Veil to victory in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1400m) at Matamata on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old apprentice jockey, who has won 54 races in Britain, is working for winning trainers Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard alongside his partner Hayley Ashcroft.

Pilley has only been in the country for a couple of weeks and he said it was great to get the breakthrough win.

"I’ve placed a few times, seconds and thirds, but it’s nice to get my head in front," he said. "I’ve been with Pam for a few weeks now and she’s given me good opportunities, so I’m grateful."

Gerard was glowing in her praise of Pilley after the win and said she is enjoying having him in her stable.

"He’s a great boy and he rides super," she said. "I can’t believe he’s struggling to get outside rides at the moment, but hopefully people will jump on the bandwagon now and he’ll get support. "He is a little bit taller and a bit heavier, so it restricts him a little but he’s a very, very good rider."

Classic assignments ahead for Mohaka

Dual stakes-placed filly Mohaka will return to the Hawke’s Bay stable of trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen in the coming weeks in preparation for Classic targets this autumn.

The Nadeem three-year-old finished unplaced in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) last-start, after placing in her previous four starts, and her connections said she can be forgiven for that run.

"Mohaka is still spelling. I’d say the track wasn’t in her favour that day in the Guineas and it was probably one too many (races for her)," Lowry said.

"She’s likely to come back in within the next few weeks and we’ll probably aim at some of those staying races in the autumn for the three-year-old fillies."

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