Youngster wins the Newmarket Handicap
By GREGOR MACTAGGART mactaggartg@gladstone observer.com.au SIXTEEN-year-old apprentice jockey Adrian Coome scored his biggest career win to date piloting outsider Pack of Gold to victory in Saturday's $7000 Gladstone Newmarket handicap at Ferguson Park.
On a fine day for racing, the sun shone on the Rockhampton apprentice and his six-year-old brown gelding with an upset win by one and a quarter lengths.
Pack of Gold was in fact the first emergency for the race and only got a run after well-fancied Craiglea Ego was scratched. But that didn't matter at 3.32pm, when the son of Harvey Pack greeted the winning post ahead of the rest.
The win was just the fourth of Coome's career and the perfect time to chalk up his first in the harbour city.
A modest and well-spoken young man with a bright future, Coome was excited, but levelheaded after the race. "It's my biggest win by far no doubt, your always happy with a big win,'' Coome said.
"The Newmarket is a great race and it is a magic feeling to actually win such a race.''
Coome illustrated maturity above his years with a well-timed ride full of control.
"I knew at the 600 metre mark that he would be hard to beat. "He jumped well and was able to relax through the middle stages. "At about the 400 I knew that I had them covered and even though he slowed near the finish, I was home alright,'' he said. The win was even more special for Coome with his parents in the Ferguson Park crowd.
"Mum and Dad have been huge supporters since I started riding three months ago and my boss Dave Vale is great as well.
"To have them here today to share this is fantastic,'' he said.
Pack of Gold now has seven wins from 41 career starts and over $35,000 in prizemoney.
As for the beaten brigade, honest Bundaberg seven-year-old Grouchie Pattern was magnificent in second.
A noted dirt tracker, Grouchie Pattern gave away seven kilograms to the winner and wasn't far away, while Exemplify flashed home to finish third.