Andrew Mallyon digs deep to ride four at Grafton

Andrew Mallyon returns on the Kris Lees trained Galaxy Belle after winning the 1700m Maiden Handicap at Clarence River Jockey Club on Sunday. Photo: Trackside Photography.

Andrew Mallyon was getting over gallstone surgery when he travelled to Clarence River Jockey Club on Sunday, but the in-form hoop pushed through the pain barrier, riding four winners on the final day of the Grafton Carnival. 

In fact, the 32-year-old was forced to dig extra deep at Grafton, riding only weeks after going under the knife and having a stent put in place, before he went back into surgery the day after the Grafton Carnival had finished to have it removed. 

“I have been dealing with it for the last three or four weeks. It has been a bit tough, but it’s just one of those things I had to ride out,” Mallyon said.

“It happened the week before Stradbroke day, I rode in the Moreton Cup and I rode quite light and then I rode the next day at Murwillumbah, and then I ended up going into hospital the following Monday morning.

“Initially I had surgery and they put a stent in, and I got released on Stradbroke day and I was riding with the stent in after that.” 

Mallyon admitted it was tough to ride at times but being on good horses helped ease the pain.

“Although I wasn’t able to ride quite as light and do as much training, I was still able to get a few results,” Mallyon said. 

“Riding nice horses helps get you through the pain barrier.”

The well-travelled hoop is based on the Gold Coast these days and he had a field day at Grafton, firstly guiding Calcareous to victory in the 1100m Maiden Plate for Lauren Abbott.

Mallyon then rode a double for Michael Costa, helping Morethannumberone to a win in the 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap before riding The Catch to victory in the 1700m Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

Rounding out a great day at the office, Mallyon booted home a winner for his boss, Kris Lees, helping Galaxy Belle greet the judge first in the 1700m Maiden Handicap.

Mallyon said it was good to land a few winners but believed it wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t get the ongoing opportunities.

“You are only as good as what you are sitting on,” Mallyon said.

“I’ve been putting in the hard yards with Kris in recent years and that is paying dividends, and only I recently starting riding for Michael Costa, and we have a phenomenal record, with 10 starts for six winners or something like that.”

Mallyon may have been struggling after surgery, but he still had a sensational Grafton carnival, riding seven winners in total, including the Grafton Cup Prelude on the Michael Costa trained Purrfect Deal, and he said the track held up great to the consistent racing.

“I thought the track held up terrifically with the amount of traffic,” Mallyon said.

“We had that bit of wet weather early doors and there was some doubt the track would hold up, but it felt like the more we raced on it, the better it held up.

“It raced very fair, especially during the week. There was no real bias and it’s a credit to the track with how it held up.”