It was a day of firsts for Teighan Wornsop at Narrandera on Saturday, with the young jockey riding her first winning double.
Teaming up with Cowra trainer Maree Hopkins – who was coincidently celebrating her birthday – the 22-year-old booted home a double, winning the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap aboard Mystic Flame ($2.90) and the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap aboard Gloraya ($17).
“That was my first time winning at Narrandera and my first double; it was a great feeling,” Worsnop said.
The apprentice jockey only had three rides on the six-race=program, and she also finished second on the Dino D’Altorio-trained Sonattack ($8.50) in the 1400m Maiden Handicap, which capped off a good day in the saddle.
The Albury based hoop said she went to Narrandera confident she would be in the winner’s circle.
“I went there and had a gut feeling that it might be my first double just because of the good rides I had,” Worsnop said.
“I thought Mystic Flame was my best chance and we had a nice barrier, which did help, and Gino’s horse, Sonattack, it had run a good race their last time, and we thought it might go close.
“Gloraya was my first ever ride for Maree, and we had won on a heavy 10 at Gundagai before, and I had a feeling that if I rode her similar to that Gundagai win, she might run a nice race and she did.”
Narrandera certainly lives up to the ‘horses for courses’ proverb, and Worsnop explained it can be the same with jockeys at Narrandera, with the youngster now more familiar with the sometimes-tricky course.
“Compared to other country tracks, I find it very similar to Gundagai and Corowa,” Worsnop said.
“I have had some horses handle it and run well, and some that don’t like it, and it really depends on the horse.
“I find at Narrandera; I start to get going from the 800m to the 600m and that way you’re up on the bit and travelling around the corner.
“If you do that, they let down on the straight and because the straight is not long enough to both straighten and get them going quickly enough, you have to time your run, which can make it a bit tricky.”
Worsnop has been getting more opportunities of late, riding winners at Corowa and Wagga last month before Saturday’s double at Narrandera, and she believes a temporary move back to her grandfather’s stable has made all the difference.
“I am back on lease to pop (Garry Worsnop), and I am really enjoying being back in Albury,” Worsnop said.
“I have been riding for a few different trainers, and the hard work is starting to pay off; trainers like Gino and Maree are giving me rides and other trainers and noticing and I’m picking up a few more rides.”
For more on Narrandera meeting on Saturday and full results, readers can click here.