Return of the King
IT has been a while since The Coffs Coast Advocate interviewed jockey Jasen Watkins after he’s ridden a winner at the races.
When he steered topweight Endless Tower home yesterday in the Brown & Hurley Maiden Handicap, Watkins had one big tongue-in-cheek message for racegoers.
“Tell them ‘the King’ is back,” Watkins said with a grin from ear to ear.
Starting from a wide alley, Watkins took gelding Tale Of The Cat towards the leading bunch from the jump and managed to pull away in the straight before edging out Bulletonthewind by a length and a half.
“I rode him the other morning in a jumpout and that went pretty well so I was very confident today from the wide alley,” he said.
“He still had plenty in reserve late and I felt the only thing that was going to beat me was greenness and fitness because he’s only a new horse for us but he got the job done.”
The three-year-old only came to the Brett Bellamy stable six weeks ago from Melbourne and the trainer admitted early on he wasn’t quite sure what he had on his hands.
“We’ve tried to take him along steady and tried to fill him out but it was always going to be interesting how he actually went,” he said.
“His work has been okay but when he got here we first thought ‘oh there’s not much to this horse’ but he’s just improved, improved, improved and kept improving.
“Hopefully he’ll keep doing the same thing.”
Bellamy added that he wasn’t as bullish about Endless Tower’s chances as Watkins was.
“I didn’t really know what to expect plus I thought my other mare Hidden Woman would be hard to beat but it was a pleasant surprise to have him win,” he said.
“We thought he could win. I said to the owner don’t send him around friendless but you can’t have the house on him either.”