Horse Racing

Blaike McDougall fast closing on 150 winners as he continues his pursuit of Chris Parnham in the Australian jockeys’ premiership at Bendigo

Albury-based jockey Blaike McDougall might need to rethink his season’s target after he rides at Bendigo on Saturday.

McDougall has stealthily made his way into second on the Australian jockeys’ premiership with 129½ wins, at the time of writing, to trail WA jockey Chris Parnham by three wins.

McDougall’s impressive tally has him in sight of last season’s total of 141 and rapidly closing on his goal of 150 wins with more than four months remaining in the 2020/21 campaign.

The jockey said he hadn’t reset his season’s ambitions but did not rule out breaking the 200-win barrier if he maintained his current 21 per cent strike rate.

“It’s a possibility but getting to 200 is a lot of winners and racing is so unpredictable, it’s a day-by-day thing,” McDougall said.

“Touch wood, with no suspensions or injuries and if I hold this form, there’s no reason why not.

“But anything over 150, I’d be satisfied with.”

McDougall’s profitable association with the Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable at Lindsay Park has helped his statistics over the last couple of seasons.

But McDougall’s high workrate has also helped his tally, starting with a long drive from his Albury base to Euroa every Monday morning.

Blaike McDougall rides Zargos to victory for Lindsay Park in the Group 3 Bow Mistress Stakes in Hobart last year. Picture: Luke BowdenSource:News Corp Australia

“I’m comfortable doing what I’m doing even though I’m quite tired because I’ve been working really hard for the last three seasons and travelling to a lot of places,” McDougall said.

“I’m about an hour and 40 minutes from Euroa but I try to get down there every Monday morning, which is their (Hayes and Dabernig’s) main day.

“I also try to do a lot of jumpouts and trials for them at Wangaratta, Benalla and so forth and they send a lot of horses to race at Albury or Wagga and my job is to get them home.”

Hayes and Dabernig have booked McDougall for three rides at Bendigo on Saturday, including Fashion Avenue in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m).

McDougall will also ride comeback galloper Rostropovich in the Golden Mile and Zayydani in the Gold Bracelet.

His three rides are at double-figure odds but McDougall welcomed the chance to test himself against the Melbourne jockeys at Bendigo.

“You’ve got some of Australia’s best riders riding at Bendigo on Saturday and the jockeys in the metropolitan room in Melbourne, they’d mix it anywhere,” McDougall said.

“They’re great riders so I’m really looking forward to getting down there on Saturday and trying to mix it with them.”

Originally published asBlaike on winning roll and tempted to raise bar

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