Gallagher continues rich vein of form

Clayton Gallagher is pictured here on the William Freedman trained Frankly Savvy after winning at Coonabarabran last month. The Narromine-based hoop has been in sensational form ever since, riding 14 winners from his last 48 rides. Photo: Racing Photography.

Since riding a hat-trick of winners at Cobar Miners Race Club on Saturday, Clayton Gallagher has ridden a winner every day, greeting the judge first in eight of his past 21 rides. 

After his success at Cobar, which saw him ride a winning double for Brett Robb (Travstar and Bray), while also booting home a winner for Wayne Marsden (Rebecca’s Quest), Gallagher then won at Mudgee on Sunday aboard the Bryan Dixon trained Promesa, who was a class above his rivals in the 1400m Maiden Plate. 

On Monday, the 23-year-old was in action at Quirindi, teaming up with Paul Perry when winning on Sister Ellie in the 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap for the fillies and mares, and Quick Nick in the 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap for the colts and geldings. 

Gallagher kept up his form at Wellington today, again teaming up with Brett Robb when helping Expect A Hero to a win in the 900m Maiden Handicap and to cap off a good run of wins, he won aboard the Clint Lundholm trained Knight Driver in the 900m Class One Handicap. 

“It’s been a good run,” Gallagher said. 

“Really, it’s been a pretty good season.”

Cobar has been a happy hunting ground for Gallagher, although he admitted his hat-trick of winning rides was a career best effort at the country track.

“I have always had a bit of success there, last time I was there, I rode a couple of winners and I’ve ridden a winner every time I’ve been there, but this year has been my best meeting by far,” Gallagher said.

Sunday’s victory on Promesa at Mudgee may have surprised some, with the gelding paying over $30 on the NSW TAB, but according to Gallagher, he was always a chance on his best form.

“I remember, my manager rang me up and Bryan (Dixon) wanted me to ride one of his two and I remember saying, ‘if I could, I would ride this one’,” Gallagher explained.

“I knew if he could get back to his best form, I thought would be hard to beat and he proved me right.”

The popular Western Districts hoop is having a season to remember, having ridden 67 winners to date, bettering his mark of 44 winners that he achieved in the 2019/20 season, which currently has him sitting fifth in the NSW Country jockey’s premiership. 

Gallagher was enjoying his winning run and was taking the good while he could, hoping it would lead to more opportunities down the track.

“While the success is coming, it’s really good, and while those runs are going good, it gives me those bigger opportunities in the long run,” Gallagher said.

“We need to keep that strike rate up high, so it gives us the biggest stables and good rides.”

The in-form jockey praised his manager for helping him get the best out of his endeavours on the track. 

“I have a pretty good manager who picks most of my rides,” Gallagher said. 

“We talk nearly every day and do the form and work out my best chances, which has really helped.”

A good week on the track coincides with a move from Nyngan to Narromine, with Gallagher explaining that he wanted to stay close to trainer, Brett Robb. 

“I have recently moved to Narromine. I just finished up at Nyngan,” Gallagher said. 

“Brett has moved to Dubbo, so I’ve moved a lot closer to be near him, so I could do track work and take those rides.  

“He is a pretty good supporter of mine, and he has given me good rides. We are pretty close, and you may as well say we are family.”

While Robb is Gallagher’s go to trainer in the Western Districts, the talented rider has also enjoyed recent success with Paul Perry.

“He has been a great stable to me lately, he has given me plenty of support and his horses are on fire at the moment,” Gallagher said. 

“9 out of 10 of his horses go good and I can’t knock him back because I know I’m always a chance on one of his.”

Gallagher will hope to continue a good run for Perry at Scone on Friday and for Robb at Parkes on Sunday, with plenty of feature races on the horizon.  

“So, I’ve got the Scone carnival up on Friday, and Paul Perry has thrown a few rides back my way and we have the Parkes meeting on the Sunday, and that is a big day for the club,” Gallagher said.