Kempsey treble for evergreen Jon Grisedale

At 60 years of age, Jon Grisedale is riding as well as ever. Image: Darren Winningham.

Admired jockey Jon Grisedale booted home three winners on Saturday’s program at Kempsey.

Riding for his wife, Donna Grisedale, the 60-year-old helped Pushkin ($1.80) to a comfortable two-and-a-half-length win in the Benchmark 50 Handicap (1900m).

Ridden one out and one back, Pushkin flashed strongly to register the most impressive win on the program. 

In the Benchmark 50 Handicap (1250m), Grisedale rode for Jay Hopkins and won on Prefer To Be Ready ($4.20). 

Commencing well from gate six, the pair led before Battledance (Peter Graham, $5) took up the running. 

After taking a sit just in behind the leader on the rails, Grisedale peeled three wide on the home straight and timed his run to perfection, winning by a flared nostril. 

Making it a race-to-race double and a winning treble on the program, Grisedale then won on the Jonathan Smith-trained Doolie ($21) in the 1450m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

From gate four, Grisedale manoeuvred the nine-year-old to fourth, but travelling thee wide into the home turn,

Despite the tough run, Doolie found the front and kicked clear for a length-and-a-half victory. 

Grisdale went a lip from knocking over a quartet of winners, going down by a nose 1000m Maiden Plate. 

Riding the Neil Godbolt-trained Give It A Nudge, the pair finished strongly but couldn’t nab the Jeremy Sylvester-trained See The Saint (Luke Rolls, $6).

Grisedale was happy to enjoy a good day’s racing, where he could pick up a ‘lucky’ treble. 

“It is always good to get a winner, and it was nice to get three,” Grisedale told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.  

“A lot of things have to go right, and you need decent rides. Some days, you get very lucky, and the other day was a lucky one for me.”

Punters love seeing Donna and Jon combined for winners, and that was the 55th occasion the pair had greeted the judge first in a race. 

Grisedale said the thrill of winning for Donna was still there.

“You work with the horses seven days a week and 24/7,” Grisedale said. 

“Any time you get a winner, it’s good, but winning one for the stable is always nice.

“He (Pushkin) used to be trained by Stephen Lee and was third-up for us. It was a matter of the right grade and distance for him.” 

While Grisedale is a little longer in the tooth these days, he said he has the passion and enjoys riding as much as he did when he was a regular in the NSW metropolitan and provincial ranks. 

“I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t love it,” Grisedale said. 

“I used to be riding in Sydney and at the provincials, but being in the country has been good to me since I’ve been up here. 

“It’s still a thrill to get a win wherever I go, and I still love it.”

On Saturday’s remaining races at Kempsey, Raymond Spokes brought up a winning double. 

Riding for Kris Lees, Spokes won on Jovial Kid ($2.60) in the 1250m Maiden Handicap.

To round out the card, he then teamed up with John Sprague to help Oblivion ($5) win the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

Kempsey is set to race again today after taking on the transferred meeting from Tuncurry.