Sylvester and Stower aim to continue good form in Armidale Spring Cup

Brooke Stower will ride the Jeremy Sylvester trained Island Grange at Armidale on Thursday. Photo: Racing Photography.

Cessnock trainer Jeremy Sylvester and Tamworth jockey Brooke Stower are building a very good rapport after a strong start to the 2021/22 season. 

Following 12 months off due to a broken back, Stower returned to riding in August and has already ridden 10 ½ winners this season, and three of those victories came aboard Sylvester trained gallopers. 

The in-form hoop helped Harry and the Duke to victory in the 1900m Benchmark 50 Handicap at Armidale on September 11 before winning aboard Snobby Shores in the 1400m Maiden at Barraba on September 18. 

Most recently, Stower won again on Harry and the Duke at Gunnedah in a 2050m Benchmark 50 Handicap on September 25.

Sylvester was very happy with Stower’s form, and he explained that the pair’s success kicked off well before the young jockey’s lengthy injury spell. 

“Brooke started riding for me before she was injured,” Sylvester said. 

“Tegan Harrison rides a lot for me when I go up to Queensland, and she gave me a call about Brooke, and said she was heading our way, so we gave her an opportunity and that’s how it started.

“She rode a few winners for me before she got hurt and it was a good 12 months that she was out for, but she kept in contact and she has come back, ridden in trials, helped out and now she has ridden three winners for me.

“Brooke is a good girl; she does her form well, she listens, and my owners are happy with her riding the horses.”

The in-form duo will hope their success continues this week, starting in the 1900m Armidale Spring Cup on Thursday, with Harry and the Duke searching for his third win in four starts.

“He has only been in my stable this preparation and he has won a couple of races,” Sylvester said.

“This race is probably a bit stronger than those other two races, but it’s a suitable race and he has a light weight. 

“We have drawn a bit awkward (gate 8), but Brooke will sort that out and I expect him to be very competitive.”

Stower will also ride Island Grange in the 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap (gate 1) and Midi in the 1400m Class Two Handicap (gate 6) for the Sylvester team. 

“Island Grange is an eight-year-old mare. She had a long time off, but she is running very consistently and hasn’t had the best of luck, but we get barrier one and hopefully we get a nice run,” Sylvester said.

“With Midi, his runs have been okay expect for the last two, so we have freshened him up and dropped him back to 1400m to see if that helps.”

In what could be a very big week for Sylvester and Stower, the pair will also team up at Coonamble on Sunday, with Drachenfels set to contest to Coonamble Crystal Sprint. 

The eight-year-old will be second-up in the 1200m Open Handicap sprint and his Cessnock trainer was confident of a good run. 

“It’s a suitable race and he is a good chance. There will be plenty of speed on and he gets back and hopefully he gets home strongly,” Sylvester said. 

For punters and racing fans wanting to follow Sylvester and Stower this week, full fields for Thursday’s Armidale meeting can be viewed by clicking here, and nominations for the Coonamble meeting are available by clicking here