VISITING jockey Dale Spriggs took riding honours with a winning treble on the middle day of the annual Coffs Harbour carnival.
After scoring on Freddy Or Not in the Pacific Vetcare Maiden and Iam Missy Iam in the Patinack Farm Handicap, the Newcastle rider put smiles on the faces of trainer Ken Lantry and part-owner Joe Russo when he landed Lifebelt the winner of the Robanks Handicap at better than each-way odds.
Spriggs patiently timed his winning run to perfection and charged across the line ahead of Currency Boy and early leader Choral who looked to have the race safely parcelled up with 150m to travel.
Russo couldn't contain his excitement and with the rapport of a born showman, took command of proceedings while the field came back from the track.
“He's one of the horses we own with ‘life' in his name and they are going to be running all over the place during the next few days,” he said.
“Earlier today there was Life Bell having his first start and while he finished out of the placings, will learn from the experience.
“Lifebuoy is entered in Sydney next weekend and, of course, Lifeboat will try to win the Daniel Baker Memorial Sprint for the third time on Cup day.
“The breeding is different and they aren't related but they all get the similar name, even when it becomes a bit hard to tell them apart.”
Admitting he likes to support his horses when he thinks they can win, Russo said Lifeboat is ready to run the race of its life in the Sprint.
“The trainer ‘Bot' Thompson and I go back a long way and we love the horse and will be extra pleased if he can re-write history by winning the race for a third time.
“Make sure to have a little something on him.”