Good things come to those who wait

By GREG WHITE

IF good things come to those who wait Japanese apprentice Yuji Ozawa had no problem counting down the hours in the jockey's room till being called out to mount last race winner Dr De Lago at Friday's Coffs Harbour meeting.

The winning ride was reward for putting in the hard yards on Smarty O'Toole who started favourite in the opening event before finishing an unlucky third under Shane Treweek.

"Yuji does all the trackwork on 'Smarty' but his master Gordon Yorke advised me to use somebody more experienced," the giant galloper's trainer Colleen Underhill said.

And the fledgling jockey didn't disappoint, steering Dr De Lago to an easy win for his master and earning further praise from premier rider Jasen Watkins.

"The young fella's really staring to come along," the Coffs Cup-winner said.

"He listens to advice and I think he can ride a lot of winners over the next 12 months, especially with his allowance."

Zac Purton, who also started his booming career at the local track made a flying visit back home but finished with little result for his labours.

Returning from an enforced three month lay-off Purton rode two short-priced favourites and was beaten on both.

Pigeon Ponds went down by the shortest possible margin to consistent Thaumas before Frisco Agogo stormed home to just miss catching the heavily-backed Halfcasar.

Only a small crowd braved the overcast conditions at Friday's TAB meeting but this will change one week from tomorrow when the club hosts one of its biggest annual race dates on Melbourne Cup Day.

Meanwhile, the response to replace outgoing chief executive officer Sherryn Tutt is believed to number more than two dozen with at least one prominent Victorian official rumoured to be vitally interested in the position. An appointment is likely to be made mid-November.



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