Jackson Searle celebrates career best haul at Barraba

Jackson Searle guided the Melissa Dennett trained Ballast to victory in the Barraba Cup on Saturday. Photo: Racing Photography.

It will be a day that young jockey Jackson Searle will never forget, after dominating at Barraba on Saturday, winning four races on the six-race-program. 

Capping of a career-best day in the saddle, Searle also won the time-honoured Barraba Cup, bringing up his fourth win at the same time when greeting the judge first in the $16,000 event aboard the Melissa Dennett trained Ballast. 

“It was a really good day,” Searle said. 

“I went there pretty confident today. I’ve ridden most of the horses before and one of my winners that won the (Barraba) Cup, Ballast, I rode him on a similar track at Gilgandra the other day. 

“I knew if it played out how we wanted, he would be hard to beat, and it worked out that way and we got it over them.”

Searle touched on his ride in the feature event over the seven-furlong trip, highlighting the toughness of his nine-year-old mount that registered victory number 10 at start 70. 

“It was a good win. He was in the one-one for a long time and when we went up on the outside of the leader, he put the pressure on and it worked in our favour,” Searle said. 

The apprentice praised the Barraba Jockey Club for hosting the meeting and explained the course played well for on-speed runners.

“It wasn’t too bad, and it was good to race there; it was hard and fast and if your horse was good enough and could lead or was good enough to get a trail into the race, they were a good chance of winning,” Searle said. 

“I rode two leaders that just skipped away and rode too more that got good trails into their races and won.” 

Besides his win in the Barraba Cup, Searle guided the Robert Bandy trained Bayendi to victory in the 1720m Maiden/Class One Handicap, the first event on the program. 

Searle also won the second event, helping the Jane Clement trained Rapid Eagle to a good win in the 1000m Benchmark 45 Handicap while securing a double for Tamworth trainer Melissa Dennett in the fourth event, winning the 1200m Class One Handicap aboard Unitary.

“I’ve only had a double before this is my first time winning four,” Searle said. 

“It helps when you are getting on horses where you know their form and when they are in a race that suits.”

The Goulburn born and bred jockey, who is now apprentice to Cody Morgan in Tamworth after making the move up north, has been in hot form to start the new season, winning races at Tamworth and Taree earlier this week, while venturing all over the state, notching up wins as far as Wellington and Port Macquarie.

“It wouldn’t have happened without a lot of people’s help, especially up here, and I’m lucky to being riding for these people,” Searle said.  

“They have supported me since my move from Goulburn to Tamworth and Cody has been really good to me.”

The move looks to be a smart one for the 17-year-old, who has now registered 26 career wins, with 25 of those coming since making the move to Tamworth five months ago. 

“It was the right thing for me to do. Coming up to Cody’s was one of the better moves for my career,” Searle said. 

“It’s a lot easier to get a good go and there is more non-TABs to ride at so I can work on things.

“Also, I’m a bit taller and a bit heavier but having Cody in my corner really helps and getting more rides and trackwork gives me that riding fitness which helps with the weight.”

When asked about the future, Searle wasn’t too interested in stats and goals though, instead wanting to focus on his technique and riding winners for connections. 

“I don’t really look into (stats) that much. I just try and ride each horse as good as I can based on trainer’s instructions and for me, it’s all about getting winners,” Searle said.  

The young hoop will get a chance to show off his ability once again when riding at Armidale on Sunday and Orange on Monday and there is no doubting a few punters will be following Searle with vested interest.