Samantha Wynne will have a fellow jockey to thank if she strikes the jackpot at Hastings today.
She has picked up the ride on Kevin Myers' Scapolo in the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m), courtesy of the trainer's niece Rosie Myers who will be aboard race rival Beefeater.
"I was speaking to Rosie earlier this week and she told me to ring Kevin, but I couldn't get him and then she let me know later that night that I had the ride," Wynne said.
"I'm very excited and I know the horse so that takes a lot of worry out of it. The beauty of him is that regardless of the conditions he can win, he's very versatile.
"He's got a good chance at weight-for-age, he's used to carrying huge weights."
The Irish-born Wynne has ridden Scapolo on four previous occasions for two open handicap wins and a couple of minor placings.
"I usually help out Kevin when he comes down to the South Island and I've ridden Scapolo a fair bit in trackwork over the years," she said.
"It's a great opportunity and Kevin has been very good to me since I started riding here."
Meanwhile, Beefeater and Lubaya have been short listed for the Queensland winter carnival.
Trainer Roydon Bergerson is keen on a trip to Brisbane and plans will firm up if the pair run up to expectations in their next few appearances.
Last-start Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) winner Beefeater will have the first opportunity to bank travel expenses when he steps up to Group One company for the first time in today's Haunui Farm WFA Classic.
"I'm happy with him, he's trained on really well," Bergerson said. "He's picked up a cheque every time he's gone to the races.
"A lot depends on Saturday and we might look at going to Ellerslie for the New Zealand Stakes.
"If he goes to Brisbane later on we don't necessarily have to look at the top of the pile - there's a lot of country cup races worth a fair bit of money over there."
Beefeater has won six of his 23 starts, including a defeat at Matamata last season of the subsequent multiple Group One winner Lizzie L'Amour.
Stablemate Lubaya finished a creditable eighth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m), but the hard track at Riccarton took its toll and she was spelled before resuming with a maiden win at Wanganui last week.
"She was very impressive, I don't know that she beat much but she did it the right way," Bergerson said.
"She'll either run at Hastings in the three-year-old race over 1400m on Lowland Stakes day or in a Rating 65 1400m race here (Awapuni) the following day."
Meanwhile, South Island apprentice Tanya Jonker will renew her association with Howie Mathews' Otaki stable today. The Riccarton-based jockey will partner Group One prospect Sampson when he runs in the Raukawa Cup (2100m) at Hawke's Bay.
- NZ Racing Desk