Amy McLucas continued her good run on the Tash Burleigh-trained Pokerjack on Saturday with the pair winning the 1200m Class Three TAB Highway Handicap.
Jumping from gate 12 as a 20/1 chance, Pokerjack over-raced in the early stages of the $120,000 race and was forced to sit three-wide for McLucas.
On the home turn, McLucas peeled four-wide on the five-year-old, and the pair exploded away for a strong victory from the Rodney Northam-trained The Dramatist (Reece Jones, $7.50) in second and the Terry Evans-trained Sir Ravenelli (Regan Bayliss, $11).
McLucas, who has gone from strength-to-strength as an apprentice jockey, was thrilled to win a race on Golden Eagle race day.
“It’s sort of an unexplainable feeling. It’s everything you work for, and it takes a lot to get there but when you get there it’s great,” McLucas said after Saturday’s victory.
It was a second Highway Handicap victory for Pokerjack and McLucas, with the pair also proving too good for their rivals four starts back when winning a 1100m Class Two at Royal Randwick back in August.
While he had his moments throughout the run at Rosehill Gardens, the young jockey confirmed that she was always confident she had enough horse to win the race for connections.
“He’s a cheeky little thing. I was hoping to settle midfield or worse because that’s how he won the (previous) Highway, and he made it hard work today and I did the best I could to work with him and he was just all there at the top of the straight and I knew he had it,” McLucas said.
“I still had a lot of horse underneath me and he just knows what he is doing now when he gets there.”
McLucas is hoping to continue her good run of form at Goulburn today and Kembla Grange on Tuesday, with the youngster taking 11 rides across the two programs.
For the full Highway Handicap result, readers can click here.