Tim Bell has had some anxious moments before continuing his climb back up the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership ladder with a double at Ipswich.
The 2013-14 premiership winner Bell had a slow start to the new season but in the past month has gradually moved up the leader board.
Bell opened his account on Wednesday with victory on Party Till Dawn ($13), then got the most out of Athena Fire ($1.80) who beat Moon And The Stars ($6) by a nose in the Shultz’s Meats Hcp (1350m).
It was a deceptive finish and no sooner had Bell’s nerves settled than apprentice Rikki Jamieson fired in a protest claiming he had shifted out in the straight and brushed her horse at the 300m.
Stewards dismissed the protest after finding that while there was a brush, they could not be satisfied the incident had cost Moon And The Stars the race.
Bell’s double took him to 24 wins and outright third place in the premiership with a treble to Luke Tarrant taking him to 32 and Jim Byrne’s one win taking him to 25.
Dan Griffin continued his remarkable comeback from a career-threatening injury when he scored his ninth win in three weeks at the Ipswich meeting.
Griffin has undergone three operations on his left knee after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in a fall at the Gold Coast in November 2012.
He made a short lived comeback in January but was forced to have another operation in April.
Griffin resumed riding at the Gold Coast on November 22 and has ridden nine winners from 43 rides since.
He led all the way to win on Oceantes ($1.60) for trainer Robert Heathcote in the Parcell Builders Three Year Old Plate (1050m).
“I have been doing some work for Rob and it is good to get his support as there are no better in the game,” Griffin said.