Kody Nestor claims Parkes Cup aboard up-and-comer Osman

Kody Nestor returns as a winner after guiding the Mack Griffith-trained Osman to victory in Sunday’s Parkes Cup. Photo: Racing Photography.

Kody Nestor showed everyone why he should still be in the saddle at Parkes on Sunday, with the popular jockey winning the $36,000 Parkes Services Club Parkes Cup (1600m) aboard the Mack Griffith-trained Osman.

The pair jumped well from gate 10, and Nestor took the four-year-old to the front.

From there, they got away with some cheap sectionals before the $2.60 favourite kicked on and won by three lengths from the Matthew Dale-trained Kiptanui (Nick Heywood, $4.20), while four lengths back in third was the Michael Mulholland-trained Sea Of Flames (Kath Bell-Pitomac, $15). 

It was a comfortable win, and Nestor said the race played out as he had expected. 

“It looked like it was going to pan out like that on paper,” Nestor told Sky Racing’s Mick Wallace after the race. 

“Obviously, the horse didn’t have things go his way the other day, whereas today, he was left alone (in front), found a lovely rhythm, and gave a good kick off it.”

Nestor, who gave away riding to become one of the leading trainers in the Western and Central District Racing Associations, returned successfully to riding last year, with the prolific 32-year-old riding winner after winner. 

“I feel like Johnny Farnham, I’ve had more tours than anyone, but it’s good to be back,” Nestor said. 

One man happy to have Nestor back in the saddle is Mack Griffith, with Osman benefiting from his good hands. 

Osman – a six-time winner in 15 starts – let punters down in the Gooree Park Cup at Mudgee last Sunday, finishing eleventh of twelve when going around as a $1.80 favourite. 

At Parkes, it was a much nicer watch as he settled for Nestor and was able to lead comfortably before running away with an easy win.

“It was more disappointing the ride last time than the horse; Mitchell (Bell), even after the race, said he got it a bit wrong,” Griffith said. 

The Mudgee galloper is turning into a lovely horse, with Griffith now setting him for some lucrative Country Cups and a potential tilt at the Big Dance or Little Dance. 

“The horse is going really well; it’s just these American Pharaohs; they just need a bit more time, but he’s a lovely horse,” Griffith said. 

“It would be nice to go to the Gunnedah Cup in a few weeks; it’s one of those Big Dance races, so you’ll probably get weighted out of it, really, but we’ll just see how we go.”

On a big day at Parkes, Nestor followed up his Tuncurry double on Saturday with another pair of wins, with his win on Osman in the Parkes Cup preceded by a good victory on the Connie Greig-trained Hemsted ($26) in the 1300m Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

Nick Heywood enjoyed a red-letter day, with the Goulburn jockey booting home four winners and two minor placings from seven rides. 

For all results from Parkes, click here.