Racing: Apprentice's winning double justifies trainer Tiley's faith

By Mike Dillon

Rowena Smyth started out riding as an apprentice in the northern area. Photo / Thinkstock
Rowena Smyth started out riding as an apprentice in the northern area. Photo / Thinkstock

When Nigel Tiley took on apprentice Rowena Smyth he quickly realised she was going to be more valuable than a trackwork rider.

The winning double on Twilight Dragon and Rafa at Ellerslie on Saturday proved that.

Smyth started out riding as an apprentice in the northern area then had three years sidelined after head injuries she suffered in a race fall in Samoa of all places.

"Rowena first came to me to ride trackwork, then I saw she was going to be wasted just doing that," said Tiley, who forged an extremely memorable international career as a jockey.

"She is a very good horsewoman. She has great hands and horses run kindly for her.

"Like all apprentices she had to learn to use the whip and ride them out forcefully, so I told her to study Joe Moreira in Singapore, he's as good as anyone in the world."

It was noticeable on Saturday that Smyth's ability to push her mounts out has improved dramatically.

Twilight Dragon looks to be a real horse for the future for Ardmore trainer Danny Walker. Meanwhile, Cambridge trainer Craig Thornton's big opinion of emerging mare Chapinta is being realised.

Her victory at Ellerslie will start her on a path that Thornton hopes will culminate in the High Chaparral mare being at Riccarton for the New Zealand Cup in November.

And you just had to admire the determined dash of topweight Indikator to finish a fast-closing second under 60.5kg, 7.5kg more than the winner.

Financialterrorist showed plenty of ticker in the closing stages to win the Auckland Co-op Taxis Mile from Smedley after racing fiercely for a fair portion of the first half of the contest.

There is another win in him even going up a grade.

- NZ Herald

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