A fitting match bewteen Deanne Panya’s attributes and Raijinz’s racing style has landed the emerging apprentice the ride on him as he shoots for three wins in a row.
Panya has produced her best performances on front-runners and horses who race close to the speed.
Seven metropolitan wins have her in second on the junior riders’ Sydney premiership one win behind Koby Jennings who finished his apprenticeship after notching his eighth winner.
But it hasn’t been all rosy for Panya.
She was referred to Racing NSW’s riding skills panel for remedial training by stewards after failing to restrain the John Thompson-trained Dragon Flyer in September.
Despite that, trainers have not been afraid to utilise her talent for riding horses positively, as demonstrated by her engagement by trainer Jarrod Austin for Saturday’s Tab.Com.Au Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury.
“That was a big factor in putting her on,” Austin told AAP.
“He’s shown in his last couple of wins he doesn’t like to be cluttered up, he likes to be free running.
“I think that suits her down to the ground.”
Another factor in Panya’s favour is her three-kilogram claim which allows Raijinz to carry 56kg on Saturday.
The horse is in a purple patch after backing up a Kembla Grange win on October 8 with a dominant performance at Newcastle a week later.
“We all want to get them in to winning form but I think the confidence is a real key,” Austin said.
“His last win was quite arrogant. He just sat out there and strode away with it.”
With Raijinz’s confidence back he is relishing working and racing, Austin said.
“Once they get that bit of confidence they’re keen to go to the races and do it again,” he said.
“That’s exactly the frame of mind he’s in at the moment.”
Raijinz has been with Austin since he was sent to his stable by Queensland owner Emma Clare as a yearling.
The six-year-old has yet to win a metropolitan race, but has racked up five at provincial venues.
“His last month or so it’s as happy as I’ve ever seen him,” Austin said.
“I’m expecting him to run well.”