Andrew Mallyon’s desire to secure the ride on Al Khabeer has been rewarded, with the jockey partnering the well-bred gelding to a debut win at Mornington.
Three-year-old Al Khabeer is a son of Commands out of 2006 Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Rewaaya and made his first race appearance in Monday’s Luke Duhig Memorial Plate (1200m) at the meeting which carried metropolitan status.
Al Khabeer ($4.80) controlled the maiden event from the front and kicked away in the straight to win by 1-3/4-lengths in a performance which came as no surprise to Mallyon or Lindsay Park co-trainer Ben Hayes.
Mallyon said he had pestered Lindsay Park racing manager Rayan Moore and the horse’s trainers, including David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, in a bid to secure the ride since he first rode Al Khabeer in a gallop about six weeks ago.
“Every week I’ve been making phone calls,” Mallyon said.
“He had a jump-out since then and trialled nicely and he’s a nice horse going forward. He’ll be a spring horse.
“I drove Rayan and David and Tom and Ben mad to ride him. I just loved him from the moment I sat on him and gave him a gallop up at the farm.
“He just showed me a lot of talent and I was really confident coming here today.”
Mallyon said Al Khabeer had a nice run in front but he also believes the gelding will benefit from the race day experience.
“He was still a little bit lost but I always had plenty there,” he said.
“It wasn’t ideal to be leading on him today in his first start in a race, it was all a bit new to him.
“He won today purely on ability. He’ll be even better once he learns his craft.”
Ben Hayes said the team had had to be patient with Al Khabeer becasue of shin soreness.
“He’s always shown us really good ability at home and we’ve really taken our time with him,” Hayes said.
“We had to geld him and we’re getting the rewards now.”