Robert Heathcote has shown his confidence in James Orman by booking the apprentice for Dream Choice in the $100,000 Listed Falvelon Handicap at Doomben.
The leading trainer usually prefers senior riders on his horses in non-claiming or stakes races but Heathcote says Orman’s recent form warrants his booking on Saturday.
“Statistics don’t lie,” Heathcote said.
“He is equal second on the national jockeys’ premiership.
“It is a real credit for a jockey who still has a claim in the city. I am more than happy to stick with the form rider, apprentice or not.”
Orman rode the former Sydney-trained Dream Choice when he won an open handicap at Doomben two weeks ago.
“Dream Choice is starting to live up to his early potential,” Heathcote said.
“He is a Dynamic Syndications horse and up here to win stakes races like Saturday’s which are usually a touch under Sydney or Melbourne.”
Heathcote only started using country-based Orman on a regular basis last month and points to a ride in which Orman beat one of his horses as an example of the young rider’s ability.
“He produced a really clever ride to win on Meteorologist last Saturday and beat one of my horses in Kaiser Franz in the process,” Heathcote said.
“James is a thinking jockey. He saw there was no pace so he got on his bike and left the rest floundering.”
Orman is leading the Brisbane senior riders premiership with 44 victories and is the $1.60 favourite to win the title despite heavy backing for rival Jim Byrne.
A four-time premiership winner, Byrne has a strong book on Saturday including Whiskey Allround who will be one of three runners for leading trainer Tony Gollan in the Falvelon.
He will be joined by Some Day and The Storeman.