Cambridge jumps jockey Mathew Gillies has been enjoying a great run of form in recent weeks.

On Sunday the 33-year-old notched his first winner as both trainer and jockey when Borninasandpit, who he trains in partnership with Graham Thomas, was successful at Te Aroha.

"It was my first ride on a horse I train too so it was really good," Gillies said.

"I've been telling other jumps jockeys what to do for the last couple of years but to actually go out and ride it and do it myself was a good way to do it.


"There's probably less pressure because you do whatever you want to do but if it didn't go right it was all my fault."

Sunday's win came just nine days after Gillies, who is originally from Palmerston North, won both the Awapuni Hurdles and Steeples which he describes as being close to a career highlight.

Gillies has no plans to retire from the saddle and he is well placed to continue his run of success at the Hawke's Bay Hunt raceday on Saturday.

The 2013-14 premiership winning jumps jockey has rides in each of the jumps races on the card headlined by last start Awapuni Hurdles (2900m) winner Gallante in the Te Whangai Romneys Hawke's Bay Hurdle (3100m).

"It's going to be a lot better track than what he had the other day when he won in the mud, but hopefully he's improved enough that he can go a lot better on a firmer track," Gillies said of the Team Rogerson-trained gelding.

"If the distance was further, I think it would be right up his alley, but I'm just unsure about how he will cope with the distance and track."

Gillies' other feature race contender at Hastings is Zardetto for Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal in the AHD Hawke's Bay Steeplechase (4800m).

"He's been around for a long time and he's done a lot of jumping," he said.


"He's had three wins over fences and is usually in the place money, so if everything goes right he should be a good chance."

– NZ Racing Desk