Travers ends year on high note with Corowa double

Josh Richards brought up a double when winning on the Michael Travers-trained Miss White at Corowa on Saturday. Image – Corowa Race Club.

Jockey-turned-trainer Michael Travers ended 2023 on a high note at Corowa on Saturday, with the Wagga trainer bringing up a race-to-race double. 

Teaming up with Mathew Cahill, a pick-up rider for emergency Deep Core ($13), the pair won the Maiden Plate (1200m).

Travers then utilised Josh Richards, who rode Miss White ($17) to a good win in the Class One/Maiden Plate (1600m). 

“It’s great to get a result like this,” Travers said. 

“We had a little bit of a dry patch, and to get a double is amazing.”

Travers went to Corowa confident that Deep Core could run a race, with the three-year-old triumphing at just his second start for the stable. 

Ridden quietly by Cahill, the Deep Field gelding stormed home vigorously to win by two and a half lengths.  

“I thought the maiden horse (Deep Core) was a chance, especially when Mathew Cahill was happy to take the ride,” Travers said. 

“He was doing it for love; he already had a ride that was scratched, so he was already getting paid, and when he was happy to ride it, that gave me a bit more confidence. 

“The horse had worked a lot better after his first-up run, and I learned a lot about it. It was a good ride by Mat, and they were just too good.”

Miss White won similarly to Deep Core, with Josh Richards – who also scored a double at Corowa – sitting quietly on the four-year-old. 

The pair then unleashed another strong finish, winning by more than two lengths. 

Travers said the ride made all the difference for the Impending mare that has now won back-to-back races. 

“I rode her Saturday morning and thought she had improved six lengths, but I didn’t know if that would be enough with her stepping up from a Maiden to Class One,” Travers said. 

“She proved to me she had improved, and they got a beautiful run throughout, and they were just too strong.”

Saturday’s Corowa double adds to what had been a golden run of results for the Wagga stable.

Travers prepared Gold Tracker to win the $50,000 Country Magic Benchmark 58 Handicap at Gundagai over the Snake Gully Cup carnival in November, and he’s picked up three victories in December.

It’s been a meteoric rise for the former jockey, who, in April 2021, became the first licensed trainer/jockey to win a race in NSW.

Travers has since prepared 34 career winners, and he decided to head into the 2023/24 season focusing on his talents as a trainer, electing not to renew his jockey’s licence

The decision has paid off, and throughout the first five months of the new season, he has notched 14 winners at a 17.5% strike rate, placing him in the top 20 NSW country trainers. 

“We had a good start to the season, and 14 wins is an outstanding effort for such a small team,” Travers said. 

The stable will trek to Gundagai on Monday, ready to ring in the New Year.

Travers will start Diamond Carat (Quayde Krogh) in the $15,000 Adelong Cup (1400m) and Luscious (Michael Heagney) in the $12,000 Class One Handicap (1180m).

“I am pretty confident in Diamond Carat,” Travers said. 

“We had her in at Corowa but scratched her as we were trying to find her a wet track. 

“We are hoping there is give in the track at Gundagai, and if the conditions suit, she can run a race.”

It is another good day at Gundagai, with the club expecting a big crowd for their New Year’s Day Adelong Cup meeting.

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