Battle of the hoops one to savour

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By Darryn Nufer

THERE is no shortage of jockey talent on display at Callaghan Park today.

Riding on the crest of a wave at the moment is Dale Evans coming off a winning treble and two seconds at Emerald last Saturday. He also booted home a winner at Townsville on Sunday.

[caption id="attachment_1083" align="alignleft" width="300"]Dale Evans Dale Evans has a strong book of rides at Callaghan Park today. Photo Darryn Nufer.[/caption]

Evans has a strong book of rides today which includes:

Race 1: Seen a Host (coming off two straight victories both with Evans in the saddle)

Race 2: Nevzlin (resumes today and last time he was first-up Evans rode him to an upset win at Callaghan Park)

Race 3: Mt Ziggaro (has won multiple times in recent months at Callaghan Park with Evans steering)

Race 5: Shocketeor (former Sydneysider now with Lyle Rowe who ran a close second last time out at Callaghan Park)

Race 6: Hillcrest (Evans rode him to a dominant four-length win at his first Rockhampton race appearance on April 17)

Race 7: Dame Judarius (last start Callaghan Park winner)

Despite this very strong book of rides, it is likely that Evans won’t start favourite in the Tattsbet jockey challenge today.

Most meetings premier hoop Adrian Coome opens up the elect and that should again be the case today as he also has a strong hand.

Coome rides Hodgie and Mo (race 2); Mythologist (race 3); Power Ranger (race 4); Thunda Cookie (race 5); Dothraki Warrior (race 6) and comes home with Nobody’s Boy in race 7.

For those who like to play the jockey challenge bet type, which can keep you interested in an entire race meeting for just one outlay, it pays to keep statistics in mind.

Coome invariably opens at prices between $1.20 and $1.90 but winning jockey challenges under the 3-2-1 point-scoring system is no gimmie and if you’d taken the shorts about Coome each meeting this year you’d be a long way behind.

That is evidenced by the fact that Coome has won just 4 of 15 jockey challenges at Callaghan Park in 2014 (if you include all meetings for stats purposes).

Evans has won three as has rising star, apprentice Matthew McGillivray, with other jockeys sharing the remainder with single wins.

[caption id="attachment_1298" align="alignleft" width="259"]Adrian Coome headshot Rockhampton’s Adrian Coome leads the Queensland jockey premiership. Photo Darryn Nufer.[/caption]

Yet Coome is a country mile out in front on the RJC premiership table and also leads the Queensland jockey premiership by 7.5 wins over Brisbane’s Michael Cahill this season. There’s no denying he’s statistically the best jockey and you only have to watch him to appreciate that he is class with a capital C on a horse. But he’s also human.

Undoubtedly Coome’s position on both premiership tables influences those at Tattsbet who set the jockey challenge odds each meeting.

But as highlighted, from a punting perspective, you must look beyond that and on the right days (which statistically are most days) you can get good odds about Coome’s “opposition” and make a good dollar.

Will Evans be the value today? Will McGillivray continue his rise? Or will Brisbane hoops Ric McMahon (six rides) and Brad Stewart (5 rides) be the testing material? On paper McMahon’s book also looks strong.

With good-sized fields today the battle of the hoops will be one to enjoy.



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