Being part of a historic win in New Zealand racing was special for jockey Ryan Elliot.
The 21-year-old jockey scored his first win at racing's highest level when Rock On Wood bolted away with the Group 1 $200,000 Captain Cook at Trentham, but the historic part came because the winner is trained by Elliot's mother Leanne.
While New Zealand racing has a long history, a mother as trainer and son as jockey winning a Group 1 race has almost certainly never happened before.
Add to that the fact Rock On Wood was Leanne's first Group training success and she shares ownership with her mother Jill and sister Yvonne, for Ryan to return to his victorious family in the winner's circle was hard to comprehend.
"To win my first Group 1 was special enough, but for Mum and the family, when Mum only has one actual racehorse in work, you just never think something like that could happen," said Ryan.
The win also came with its share of relief, as Elliot says he butchered Rock On Wood's chances in the Group 1 Thorndon last January, getting bottled up on the fence.
Yesterday, the pair had to first get the okay to start, guaranteed only when the Trentham track improved from a Heavy10 to a Soft7.
Things still didn't look great when they were trapped wide in midfield on a slow pace but that gave Elliot the opportunity to sneak forward and he exploded at the 300m mark to put the race to bed before holding out Concert Hall's late run.
"He actually shut off the last bit but I was just thrilled to get the win for myself, the family and the horse, and to pay everybody back for what happened in the Thorndon."
Now he is a proven weight-for-age horse, the $26,000 Karaka purchase has a myriad of summer options, as he could still be competitive up to 2000m, which opens up at least three more major races as goals.
The historic win was the highlight of a Trentham programme dominated by female victories, with Lisa Allpress riding four winners, Leah Hemi two and Temyia Taiaroa one to leave just one other win for the boys in the jockeys' room.
The female dominance continued further north, too, where the feature race at Ellerslie was won by filly Opalescence trained by Jenna Mahoney and ridden by Jasmine Fawcett.
She bounded clear in the $70,000 Bonecrusher Stakes for her fourth career win in just 10 starts.