Globetrotting jockey Grant Cooksley enhanced his reputation as one of racing’s calmest riders when he lifted Cariad to a narrow victory in the $100,000 Bright Shadow Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Cooksley was at his patient best aboard the wayward Cariad and he didn’t panic when Funtantes dashed clear in the straight and opened up what looked like a winning lead.
Known throughout his long career as the “Ice Man”, Cooksley angled his mount into the clear halfway up the straight and rode vigorously over the final 100m to drive Cariad ($7.50) to a nose win over Funtantes ($8) with favourite Risk Aversion ($3.10) third after blowing the start.
Correct weight was delayed until Risk Aversion’s rider Chris Munce viewed footage of the start and stewards confirmed the horse was allowed a fair getaway.
Cariad has developed a reputation as a hard horse to ride but Cooksley was full of praise for the Tony Gollan trained five-year-old mare.
“She relaxed really well for me during the run and it was a good win,” he said.
“Tony rung me this morning and told me how to ride her and she responded well when I asked her for an effort.
“She is probably up to winning a nice race during the carnival if she keeps improving.”
Earlier, Toowoomba trainer Rex Lipp handed punters a winter carnival tip after his colt Charge A Fortune scored a determined win in the $50,000 Winning Edge Handicap (1000m).
Lipp has had plenty of good juveniles during his career and tasted success at the top level when former brilliant filly Star Shiraz won the 2004 QTC Sires Produce Stakes and he rates Charge A Fortune the second best juvenile he has trained.
“He has shown me so much all the way along. He is a very good horse and I rate him the second best two-year-old I have ever trained,” Lipp said.
“He’s got some prizemoney under his belt now and he will get into the good two-year-old races during the carnival.”
Charge A Fortune ($5) showed plenty of determination under fire in the straight and the Charge Forward colt rallied strongly to beat Royal Jester ($6) by a short head with Bam’s Boy ($4) two lengths back third.