Coffs Harbour jockey, Jasen Watkins returns to scale after winning the Maiden Handicap with Inazone on Friday.
Coffs Harbour jockey, Jasen Watkins returns to scale after winning the Maiden Handicap with Inazone on Friday.

Connor in right zone

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

GRAFTON based trainer Neville Connor is the first to agree to the age-old adage that 'behind every great man is a woman'.

His girlfriend Kristy Gillett is a part-owner of five year-old gelding Inazone which easily won Friday's Adecco Australia Maiden Handicap.

"I've got a terrific missus," Connor admitted.

"She's a masseur and helps me out with recovery and she looks after all the feeds and everything, I'd be buggered without her."

Former jockey Connor has only been training for 12 months and Coffs Harbour has brought him some success already.

Danzero progeny Suredan finished third behind Kaoru Square on Cup Day and Red Bra has collected a second here before a victory at Port Macquarie. Now Inazone has saluted in town as well.

Connor believes that Inazone is a staying horse and that punters should keep an eye out for him in longer races.

"I sent him for a 1900 meter race at Ballina last week and they got called off so I thought 1500 meters in the heavy should suit him because he's fit as," he said.

"He just needed the ground and he got through it better than all of the others."

In form jockey Jasen Watkins knows this track like the back of his hand and took his mount wide around the bend and flew home where the going was slightly firmer.

"He just travelled well through the going, it was probably the only thing that got me home," Watkins said.

"He travelled when most of them were just scrubbing."

n SYDNEY (AAP): Joseph Pride is planning to extend Red Oog in his next campaign believing the time is right to test the Doomben 10,000 winner over more ground.

So far the lightly-raced six-year-old has been kept to sprints but his trainer believes he can be seen to advantage over at least 1600 metres and further.

Red Oog is due back in Pride's Warwick Farm stable in the next couple of weeks to begin his autumn/winter preparation.

"He's had a charmed life so far and has only had 25 starts," Pride said.

"He's a mature horse now and this time around I'd like to really test him out.

"A race like the George Ryder Stakes would be something to aim at.

"If he doesn't get the trip, then we can always take him back to sprints.

"But he handled the 1350 of the Doomben 10,000 well. That's a race we may aim at again but there's also the Stradbroke and other races."

The Group One George Ryder Stakes (1500m) is at Rosehill on April 8 with the winner exempt from a ballot on the Doncaster Handicap (1600m) nine days later.

Red Oog has had three starts since his Doomben 10,000 victory in May.



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