Teo Nugent reunites with Ashford Street

Jockey Teo Nugent is looking forward to renewing his association with Ashford Street when the sprinter heads to Flemington. The pair team for the first time this campaign in the Country Achiever Shane Fliedner (1100m) on Saturday. 

Nugent has been aboard the Warrnambool-trained gelding in five of his 10 victories and guided Ashford Street in his biggest success, the Listed Kensington Stakes over the straight 1000m course at Flemington in December 2022. 

Ashford Street has been ridden by Jaylay Kennedy at his past two starts; picture Racing Photos

After starting his career with Simon Ryan before moving on to Ken Elford, Ashford Street has had two starts for current trainer Tom Dabernig. Nugent said it was his association with owner Peter McLaren that led the rider to getting aboard. 

"I've had a lot of luck for the owner Peter McLaren and Kenny Elford," Nugent said. "I won my very first stakes race on Ashford Street's brother Grandview Avenue at The Valley and it led to riding the whole team. 

"We've kept in contact with them throughout and I'm looking forward to getting back on Ashford. He's been a very good horse for my career and since he's joined the Tom Dabernig team, he was able to win first-up. 

"I was saying to Pete that I've never seen him win first-up before and to see him there at Caulfield he looked terrific in the mounting yard. 

"For an older horse like him, it usually takes him three or four runs to get race fit, but to see him hit the board like he has, I'm really impressed, and I think he's going to have his career best campaign. The change of scenery seems to be doing him the world of good. 

"Third-up, he should give it a good shout. He's won down the straight at Flemington before, and a drop of rain would certainly help him, but I'm looking forward to getting back on him." 

Ashford Street was Nugent's first ride back following a fall at Moonee Valley last year that left him with a severe neck injury and concussion. After finishing ninth in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington, Ashford Street then went on to score at Moonee Valley on October 28 with Nugent in the saddle. 

Nugent has not been aboard the sprinter since finishing tenth in the Century Stakes at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week last year. 

"I've offered to go down and gallop him or jump him out if they've ever needed, but they seem to be OK," Nugent said. "I just get the call up on race day. 

"I've had a lot of sits on him for a lot of luck and I can't wait to get back on him."