Veteran jockey Darryl Bradley is looking forward to a gilt-edged opportunity to achieve two career goals at Te Rapa tomorrow.
The 53-year-old, who these days combines riding with his role as racecourse manager at Foxton, is sitting on 99 career stakes wins.
He heads to Te Rapa for just two rides but both are in feature races, aboard Gorbachev in the Gr.3 SkyCity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m) and Guillada in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m), both for Bulls trainer Bryce Newman.
"It would be a huge achievement," Bradley said.
"I look at what Jimmy Cassidy has achieved and it pales to his 100 Group One wins but for myself in the context of New Zealand racing, it's really important to me personally. Both horses are good rides. They are going really well and they'll give me every chance."
TAB bookmakers have Gorbachev as a $9.50 chance in the Waikato Cup, for which last-start Gr.3 Counties Cup (2100m) winner In A Twinkling is a $3.30 favourite.
Gorbachev has shone as a stayer over the past year, winning the Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham and finishing third in the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton.
He also won over 2400m at Trentham two starts back in Bradley's first ride on the Gorky Park six-year-old gelding. "He just loves a dogfight. He gave me everything that day to win," Bradley said. "I'm really looking forward to riding him on Saturday. I've tried to win as many Cups races throughout New Zealand as I can and the important ones left for me are Waikato and Wellington, so to win a Waikato Cup this weekend would mean a lot to me."
Bradley, who began his apprenticeship under his father Graham in Stratford in 1984, remembers winning the Waikato Cup Trial (2200m) on Chad at Te Rapa in 1990 in a track record that still remains of 2:12.4.
"Dad trained him and he broke the track record but he just couldn't back up," recalled Bradley, whose best wins at Te Rapa have been on Centrofold in the 1997 Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies Stakes (2000m) and Dolmabache in the 2012 Gr.2 Travis Stakes (2000m).
Bradley, who recently brought up 1800 New Zealand wins, will aim for another Group Two success on the track aboard Guillada, a Guillotine four-year-old mare he has ridden on five occasions for three wins, including a last-start Rating 82 win over 1600m at Wanganui.
"She's putting her hand up to try and get some black-type. We're testing the water and throwing her in the deep end a bit," Bradley said.
TAB bookmakers have shortened Guillada from her $13 opening price to $11 in a market headed by last-start Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1400m) winner Yearn at $2.90.
- NZ Racing Desk