Queen of the turf
HORSE RACING: All female jockeys, all female horses.
The J and K Jarvis Racing Pink Silks Benchmark 58 over 1300m was an event to behold on Sunday at the Coffs Harbour Racing Club.
In scenes reminiscent to the Melbourne Cup, the jockeys were introduced individually to the crowd and lined up for applause before hopping aboard their mount.
Female hoops travelled from all over the state as well as Queensland for the event, one which has been a staple of the Pink Silks Race Day for the past five years.
Though when the barriers flew open it was five-year-old mare Miss Vegas, piloted by Wendy Peel, who showed she was the true star of the show.
Trainer Warren Gavenlock said it was the picture perfect race from his mare.
"Where she was positioned (on the fence behind the leader), that's where I wanted her to be,” Gavenlock said.
"She has tremendous gate speed so I was very happy with where she landed.
"It was a brilliant ride from Wendy, she never panicked. I told her to get cover and she did that.”
At the top of the straight it looked as if the five-year-old was going to be swamped, until she produced a brilliant burst of speed to win by one and a half lengths.
Gavenlock said it's the type of performance the connections have been expecting for a long time from Miss Vegas, who he said has battled mental demons throughout her career.
"Miss Vegas is a very good horse if the right horse turns up.
"She has been mentally upset in the past and had some niggling injuries... she was mentally fried when we got her so we've had to change up what we do with her, we only ride her a couple of times a week.
"She was a $100,000 purchase... we thought she was going to be really special when she was a three-year-old.
"The owner Peter Colley is very patient and deserves a lot of credit.”
Gavenlock said he'll give Miss Vegas a few days to get over her run, before perhaps setting her for a 1400m race if he can find one to suit.