A tough week losing weight has had its rewards for Nick Hall with the jockey claiming a second victory in the Caulfield Cup.
Hall partnered the Ciaron Maher-trained $4.20 favourite Jameka to win the $3 million 2400m handicap on Saturday, three years after landing one of Australian racing’s biggest prizes on Fawkner.
Racing on the speed, Jameka raced clear in the straight to score a three-length win over Scottish ($7) with Exospheric ($15) three quarters of alength away third.
Standing high in the irons as Jameka crossed the line ,Hall was later fined $1000 for his victory salute.
Hall is now looking forward to partnering Jameka in the Melbourne Cup where she will attempt to emulate Let’s Elope (1991) and Ethereal (2001) as four-year-old mares to win the the double.
Jameka is eligible for a penalty in the Melbourne Cup with Racing Victoria handicapper Greg Carpenter to announce that on Monday.
Hall said any penalty would make his job easier.
“We’ll go to the Melbourne Cup and we’ll win that as she’ll relish the extra distance,” Hall said.
“The extra weight will help me. I’ll be stronger.”
Hall rode at 55kg at last Saturday’s Caulfield meeting and a strict regime saw him down to 52.5kg to ride Jameka.
While admitting it was a tough week, Hall said he also enjoyed it.
“It plays on my crazys a bit,” he said.
“I had to do it tough but you’d do it everytime for a favourite in the Caulfield Cup.”
Hall’s career has been interrupted by injury since his win on Fawkner for his godfather Lloyd Williams and Saturday’s win was his first ride in the Caulfield Cup since.
He said his second victory was in contrast to his first.
“I loved that horse (Fawkner) as I was with him as a youngster,” Hall said.
“I had a real good relationship with him and Lloyd as well. There was a lot of pressure there and it was good to crack my first one.
“But with Ciaron, I’m really matey with him.
“I’m sure we’ll enjoy this in a different manner.”
Jameka became the first filly to win the VRC Oaks and then go on to complete the Caulfield Cup double and became the first Caulfield-trained horse since Elvstroem to win.
Maher described Jameka as a rare horse.
She won the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes against the males as a two-year-old and Maher wasn’t afraid to throw her into the deep end in Sydney during the autumn.
“She’s an extraordinary horse and she showed that today,” Maher said.
“She won a two-year-old race taking on the boys and then the boys in the Derby in the autumn.
“She showed that wasn’t a problem for her and she’s taken it to another level this time.”