Jockey Matt McGillivray’s roller coaster season will continue when he has his first Group One ride on Abbey Marie in the Doomben Cup.
To say McGillivray has had an up and down season would be a major understatement.
He has ridden 78-1/2 winners to be fourth on the Queensland jockeys’ premiership and has had his best metropolitan season with 47 winners which has him also fourth in that title.
McGillivray has also ridden his first stakes winners and had a double at Doomben last Saturday including Group Three Chairman’s Handicap winner Anton En Avant.
But his success has been intermingled with controversy, first when he was suspended for a month for causing interference in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January.
McGillivray bounced back to ride plenty of winners but then was again suspended for a month after a ride on Mr Epic at Doomben in early April.
He has since been riding on a stay of proceedings pending an appeal to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
All that will be on hold when he rides Abbey Marie who is probably having her last start in Saturday’s Doomben Cup (2000m).
“Riding in Group One races against the best is obviously what it is all about. Naturally it is a thrill,” McGillivray said.
Abbey Marie is listed to be sold at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sales later this month.
The mare hasn’t won since the Group One Schweppes Oaks in May 2016 but trainer Mick Kent is confident she can race well.
“She had no luck trying to get to the outside last time in the Coolmore Legacy (Queen Of The Turf) and I think she should have figured in the finish,” he said.
Abbey Marie hasn’t run since her fifth behind Alizee in the Group One Queen Of The Turf but was given a barrier trial at Murwillumbah on May 7.