Five of the best for McDougall

Blaike McDougall boots home Our Dreamsarefree to a victory in the Hair of the Dog Cup at Gundagai-Adelong Race Club on Saturday. Photo: Gundagai Independent.

It’s no secret that Albury jockey Blaike McDougall is results driven.

Regarded as the best hoop in the Southern District Racing Association, McDougall won the SDRA title last season and was also the leading NSW country jockey, whilst finishing second in the overall premiership race, a mere 1.5 wins off eventual winner, Andrew Gibbons. 

McDougall has recently made a name for himself as a top carnival jockey too, and put this reputation to the test at Gundagai-Adelong Race Club’s annual Snake Gully Cup and Hair of the Dog carnival on Friday and Saturday.

Punters weren’t disappointed if they followed the in-form jockey either, with McDougall riding seven winners over the two days, including a new personal best haul of five winners on Saturday. 

“It was a good two days,” McDougall said. 

“My manager did a good job and got me some good rides and I thought I could win, or go close in every race. I was really confident of getting a few winners”

On Friday, McDougall guided Poetic Power to a victory in the $35,000 showcase maiden for Keith Dryden, before helping Distillate to a huge 5.49 length victory in the $40,000 Country Maiden Plate for Matthew Dale. 

McDougall’s five winners on the Saturday saw him win aboard Post Free in the 1400m maiden, Stella Baia in the 1000m maiden, Charming Pat in the 1180m Class One, Our Dreamsarefree in the Hair of the Dog Cup and finally, Lady Brook in the 1000m Class Two. 

“My favourite winner was definitely the last one I got home on; it was a pretty good feeling to finally ride five winners,” McDougall said. 

The talented horseman went on to explain that riding five winners on a card had previously eluded him, and only after forgetting about his goal, could he achieve it.  

“I’ve ridden three and four winners and gone close before, but I kept missing out,” McDougall said. 

“I wanted to get five and was getting a little frustrated but when I stopped thinking about it, I finally got there.”

Performing well at local carnivals is something McDougall takes pride in, before explaining that he was motivated to be the best jockey in the SDRA. 

“I want to be known as the go to jockey in the local area,” McDougall said. 

“I want to be the best. I probably put too much pressure on myself but that is what helps me to perform.

“I’ve been riding here for a few years now and I love this area, there are some great trainers, great owners and great tracks.”

The 26-year-old, who is again leading the NSW Country jockey premiership with 48 winners, is also second on the NSW-wide premiership this season, only behind the in-form Tommy Berry. 

 McDougall will get a chance to crack the 50 mark, with three good rides at Canberra today.