Christmas arrives early for Jasper Franklin and Cody Morgan at Tamworth

Cody Morgan and Jasper Franklin combined to win four races on Tamworth’s Christmas Eve meeting on Saturday.

Cody Morgan enjoyed a career-best haul at Tamworth on Saturday, with the popular country trainer preparing four winners for the first time on his home track. 

Morgan combined with Coffs Harbour’s Jasper Franklin, and with his 1.5kg claim, the apprentice jockey went about delivering connections some early Christmas presents.

Franklin guided Soopat ($2.70) to victory in the 1000m Maiden Handicap before bringing up an early running-double with Bullawa Creek ($2) in the 1200m Maiden Plate.

The pair’s third winner was Broken Hill ($4.80) in the 1000m Class Three Handicap before their fourth arrived with Sabie Park ($8.50) in the 1600m Benchmark 66 Handicap.

Franklin, who predominantly rides in northern NSW, explained how he ended up riding for Morgan on the Christmas Eve meeting.

“Cody contacted me on Armidale Cup day, and he let me know two weeks in advance that he was going to have a lot of horses running and that he wanted me to go over and ride some for him,” Franklin said. 

“He ended up giving me seven rides, which was great.”

Heading to Tamworth with a big book of rides for one of the state’s leading country stables certainly had the spotlight on the 19-year-old, but he thrived under the pressure. 

“I did feel a little bit of pressure honestly,” Franklin said. 

“There is always going to be some expectation when you have a good book of rides, and Cody expected every horse I was on to go well.  

“Plus, I had just driven four hours and I didn’t want to go home empty-handed, and they say diamonds are made under pressure, and you can either get crushed or you can become a diamond.”

Franklin hinted that he thought he could win five on the day, and while he had to settle with four, he was thrilled to help Morgan achieve a very rare feat for a trainer.

“I was over the moon and after the third horse had won and I still had Sabie Park to go, I knew I was in for a big day,” Franklin said. 

“At one stage, I honestly thought I was going to ride five, and the thing in the last (Distant Secret) was a good chance, but it didn’t run up to its best form on the day.

“Still, it was a pretty special day, and it was Cody’s first time training four winners, so it was good to be a part of that as well.”

Riding for Brett Dodson in Coffs Harbour, Franklin has booted home 27 winners this season at an 18% strike rate, which makes him one of the most prolific apprentice jockeys in country NSW, second only behind Anna Roper with 32 winners. 

His winners do tend to arrive in groups of two, three, and four, and incredibly, this is the second time Franklin has won four on the same program, after achieving the same result at Murwillumbah late last year.

“I can be a little bit like that,” Franklin laughed. 

“I’ll ride a double one day, and it might be a bit quiet for two weeks and then I’ll come out and ride three or four.

“It’s all good so long as I’m riding winners.”

The youngster will now turn his attention towards today’s Boxing Day meeting at Wauchope before taking his talents to Coffs Harbour on Thursday.

For full Tamworth results, click here