Alysha Collett showed that not only she could ride at her very first win in Singapore on Saturday, but that she also respected her elders!
The Kiwi lass jokingly said she had to let visiting big brother Jason win first before she took her turn to get her name on the scoresheet for the first time at Kranji.
After commencing a six-month contract last week, Collett could unfortunately not turn her first day into a fairytale start, but two close seconds had certainly given Kranji racegoers an early glimpse of her riding ability.
Eye Guy (Alysha Collett) makes every post a winning one to score his first win, picture Singapore Turf Club
Her Sydney-based brother Jason Collett, who was flying through to ride New Zealand contender Ocean Emperor in the $1.5 million Invitational Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m), actually made an immediate impact at his first Singapore ride on Auspicious Day (see earlier report) in Race 2, the $45,000 Debt Collector 2016 Stakes Class 4 Non Premier race over 1600m.
As Alysha’s booking Falkirk Lead was scratched in that race, she was able to cheer wildly from the jockeys’ room when Jason won.
Maybe a little bit of pressure was on her, but Collett headed out for her next assignment at the very next race with the same resolve, and certainly kept it in the family with her very own ice-breaker aboard the Michael Clements-trained Eye Guy ($29) in the $85,000 Stepitup 2015 Stakes, a Novice Maiden race over 1200m.
Striding away to the lead in the 13-horse field, the Bradbury’s Luck three-year-old, who ran an encouraging third on debut, was a little inclined to overrace in the initial stages, but Collett expertly kept a lid on things throughout.
When favourite Miss Dusty (Michael Rodd) came up on their outside for a stiff challenge inside the concluding stages, that’s when it became clear Collett had been able to save a few drops of petrol in the tank.
Under Collett’s forceful whip-riding, Eye Guy gamely responded with another length to go and score by that margin from Miss Dusty with debutant Lim’s Lightning (Daniel Moor) running on late for third another length away. The winning time was 1min 10.3secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
“I’m thrilled to get my first winner in Singapore. Jason’s my older brother, so he went first, I’ll give him that,” said Collett.
“It’s obviously my first ride on this horse. He’s got a free-riding action and I just let him use that big action to settle in the lead.
“He is still very green. He was on the wrong leg, ran out in the straight, but he had enough left in the tank to win the race.”
Clements praised Collett for a beautiful ride on a horse he hoped would keep improving after that first win.
“Alysha rode the horse very well. He was pretty green at his first run even if his first trial was perfect - and he was still green today,” said the Zimbabwean-born trainer.
“But he’s improved from that first run. The field was strong today, but Alysha just let him stride and he hit the line very well.”