Foes during the Warrnambool carnival, jockey Clayton Douglas and training partners Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team up chasing a trio of stakes race victories at the Gold Coast.
The training partnership and jockey combine in Saturday’s Group Two A D Hollindale Stakes with Kenedna along with Dubious in the Group Three Ken Russell Memorial and Etana in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet.
Maher and Eustace had the wood on Douglas at Warrnambool with Bit Of A Lad’s jockey Steven Pateman surviving a protest from Douglas to win the Brierly Steeplechase with Maher joking if the protest was upheld he would have searched for another rider.
Last year’s Warrnambool carnival signalled Douglas as an up-and-coming rider when he claimed the Grand Annual Steeplechase, but things did not go his way this year with seconds in two feature steeplechases.
Douglas is now successfully mixing flat and jumps racing and last month landed his first two stakes races on the flat.
“I’ve been working hard trying to get the opportunities and I’ve been getting on the right horses and getting good support,” Douglas said.
“Riding all the time is definitely improving my skills not only on the flat but also over the jumps as well.”
With John Allen, who won the Coolmore Legacy aboard Kenedna at Randwick riding at Morphettville on Saturday, Douglas was surprised, but thrilled, to get the Gold Coast opportunity.
Douglas had only ridden for Mahar and Eustace twice previously.
“I had a ride for Ciaron at Werribee about three weeks ago and won on it and then I picked up a ride for him at Bendigo on Navarro Lad a couple of weeks ago and we narrowly got beaten,” Douglas said.
“So we haven’t got a bad strike-rate at the minute and I was probably in the right spot at the right time.
“The Hollindale Stakes, it will be a good race to be riding in.
“There’s usually some nice types in it and off her last win, Kenedna’s got to be a good chance in the race.”