Mates on the rise share magic Eye Liner Stakes victory
JAG and Jake. Good mates, rising jockeys and eager to share their major successes together.
Today's breakthrough $85,000 Eye Liner Stakes victory at Ipswich racetrack gave Gold Coast hoop Jag Guthmann-Chester a massive lift in the competitive Queensland racing industry.
But he was particularly thrilled to savour the biggest win of his riding career with another upcoming Queensland jockey, Ipswich-bred Jake Bayliss.
"We're good mates,'' Guthmann-Chester said after guiding five-year-old gelding Bandipur to a last-gasp win this afternoon.
"We have the same manager through Josh Jones and working through Josh Jones, we just got closer and got to know each other more.
"It was my Black type race. I definitely got a boost when I was going across the line.''
Facing major challenges in a field featuring experienced riders like Robbie Fradd, Jim Byrne and Mark Du Plessis, Guthmann-Chester kept his cool to steer Bandipur home.
Gold Coast trainer Kelly Purdy was also trackside to share a terrific moment as Bandipur outlasted second placegetter Boomsara and Monsieur Gustave (third).
"I thought it was too good to be true,'' Guthmann-Chester, 21, said.
"Sort of the run I got from back where I was in a fairly crowded field, I was lucky to get the run up the inside.
"Credit to my horse and the team. They've done a great job with him (Bandipur).
"It just came down to the run I had.
"It was cold early . . . got him into a nice rhythm and I was just lucky that everything went my way from the 600.''
Bayliss, who rode I Dream of Green to fourth place in the same race, was stoked for his mate.
"Good on him, very proud for him,'' Bayliss said. "If it wasn't me, I'm glad it was him.''
After two successful stints in New Zealand, Bayliss has returned home to work on his family farm at Ripley.
Bayliss recently rode Miraclesfromheaven to victory in Ipswich before a July 5 Sunshine Coast treble with Playthefield, Gideons and Nicks.
Preparing for a return to his home track, Bayliss rode Doctor Zous to victory in the Rockhampton Newmarket on Friday. That was his first trip to Rockhampton.
While he missed the placings today, Bayliss was upbeat looking ahead. He appreciated having family and friends supporting him.
"I nearly pinched the Eye Liner then,'' he said.
"At a big price, I ran fourth but I hit the front with 100 go to. That was a bit of a thrill but I love riding here at Ipswich.''
For Guthmann-Chester, coming to Ipswich is also a valuable way to develop his promising career.
"I always ride here every week and enjoy it,'' he said, having won the Brisbane apprenticeship in the 2016/17 season.
"I come out of my time and spent a bit of time down in Sydney. Then I came back and things were pretty quiet for a while and it took me a while to get back up on my feet.
"Probably the last six or 12 months, I just had to go back to the Gold Coast and try to establish myself there, just try try and get more opportunities.''
Today's win capped a comeback where he said the COVID-19 restrictions had actually helped him.
"A lot of doors have opened with the zones around,'' he said.
"I'm probably getting a lot more rides with the zoning at the Gold Coast. It probably allowed me to pick up some better rides once the zones joined.''
Winning a Listed race like the time-honoured Eye Liner Stakes will surely make that happen.
"It's a good look getting that sort of win on a day like today,'' the latest Eye Liner Stakes victor said.