Bell-Pitomac hopes women reign supreme at Orange’s Ladies Day meeting

Kath Bell-Pitomac will team up with Alison Smith at Racing Orange’s Ladies’ Day meeting on Saturday. Photo: Racing Photography.

After riding a double at Gilgandra earlier this month and two good seconds at Dubbo on Sunday, popular hoop Kath Bell-Pitomac will be trying to land another winner or two at Racing Orange’s Ladies’ Day meeting on Saturday. 

“It would be good. I’ve got a couple of rides for some good ladies too, and it would be nice to get a winner for one of them on ladies’ day,” Bell-Pitomac said.

The Wellington-based jockey will team up with the Garry McCarney-trained Solid Consul in the 1600m Maiden Plate and last-start winner Bid To Fame for Jim McMillan in the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

Bell-Pitomac then teams up with Debbie Prest in the 1280m Maiden Handicap when jumping aboard Watermelon Wine before riding Gabrielle for Gayna Williams in the 1280m Class Two Handicap. 

In what is arguably her best chance on the day, Bell-Pitomac then jumps aboard Dare To Fight for local trainer Alison Smith in the 1000m Maiden Plate, with the pair set to get a good run from gate two.

Bell-Pitomac was just happy to have a big book of rides at Orange, admitting it can be ‘tricky’ at times with plenty of good trainers and jockeys often frequenting the Central Districts circuit. 

“I do enjoy riding at Orange, but it can be a bit tricky,” Bell-Pitomac said. 

“With Sydney trainers going there, and a lot of good jockeys, it can be hard to get rides. 

“There are meetings where I don’t get a lot of rides but with this meeting being a Sky 2, I’ve got a few chances and I’m really happy to be riding in five out of six races.”

Bell-Pitomac didn’t want to give too much away about her rides, but she believed all of them had their chances at Orange. 

“My general motto is that everything has a chance,” Bell-Pitomac said. 

“What I like is; they are all horses I’ve ridden.

“I love going to the races to ride horses that I know; or have worked with; or have ridden and I like to know that we are getting somewhere with them.”

Bell-Pitomac explained that working with trainers and generating an understanding of her rides made it even more satisfying when it led to a well-deserved winner.

“I don’t think I could be a jockey that just did the races, because I like riding track work, and working with trainers to get horses right,” Bell-Pitomac said.

“You can help trainers. Instead of coming back and saying, ‘it’s no good, just sack it’, you can offer ideas, and change things, and see how things happen and change up gear and work with these horses to get the best out of them.”

With it being Racing’s Oranges ladies’ day, Bell-Pitomac explained that she had tasted success with the three women that she will ride for on Saturday, even landing two ‘ride of the week’ honours with Prest and Williams, while she brought up her 100th career winner with Smith.

“I’ve won for all of them,” Bell-Pitomac said. 

“Nanga (Debbie Prest) got me ride of the week a couple of years ago at Warren and so did Griffin’s Gaze for Gayna, and I think that was at Warren too. 

“I’ve had some luck with Who’s Tinny and Billabong Isle for Alison.”

Bell-Pitomac was looking forward to travelling to Orange, suggesting the club looked after their jockeys on race days. 

“I love riding there. The facilities are good and the food is amazing. We always comment on the range of food and how well we are looked after there,” Bell-Pitomac said. 

“They also have a new bathroom and what they have done in the girl’s room is brilliant; It’s a huge difference and they make you feel really welcome.”

It shapes to be a big day for the club, with their Ladies Day meeting the first of three big race days for the club that leads into Legends Day on March 20 and the Orange Gold Cup meeting on April 8. 

For more information on the race day, readers can click here, and for punters and racing fans, racing jumps at 2.13pm and readers can click here for full fields