Two young jockeys had success in Gladstone on Tuesday.
Two young jockeys had success in Gladstone on Tuesday.

Two apprentice jockeys ride first race winners in CQ

IN WHAT has been a life changing week for members of Australia’s younger jockeying ranks, the trend continued on Tuesday at the Gladstone’s Ferguson Park racecourse.

Apprentice jockeys, Rockhampton’s Cody Collis, 17 and Caloundra’s Jake Molloy 20, both will remember Melbourne Cup Day 2020 as the occasion of riding their first race winners.

Cody “Chip” Collis only commenced race riding last Saturday at Yeppoon but on Tuesday he was in sparkling form winning on both his rides – Exocet Rocket and Manilla Miss for Rockhampton trainer Kevin Miller.

Miller went one better than his young jockey, with three successes by also winning with exciting Spill The Bean restricted class sprinter Isis Brumby (Sonja Wiseman).

The trainer’s only other starter at Gladstone, the maidener Rock’ N’ Blitz (Wiseman) seemed to have the Maiden Plate (1194m) all parcelled up until Jake Molloy’s mount Barbican arrived on the scene.

Bevan Johnson trained Barbican overwhelmed leader Rock’N’Blitz in the closing stages to win by a length and provide Molloy with the unforgettable thrill of achieving that first race success.

Indentured to the Sunshine Coast’s Paul Jenkins, Jake Molloy comes from a racing family with his mum Leanne Henry and father Mick Molloy having been successful jockeys in Central Western New South Wales.

In that district the name Molloy is etched in jockeying folklore as another relative, Harry “Matey” Molloy held legendary status.

Matey won the 1964 Doncaster Handicap at Randwick on Persian Puzzle as well as the 1963 Hotham Handicap on River Seine.

“I just hope I can carry on the family name with more winners to come”, Jake who plans to ride at Charleville on Saturday commented.

Jake, a late starter to jockeying because of his successful career as a boxer (won three Queensland Flyweight Titles), made his race riding debut at Alpha on October 3.

Unlike his counterpart Jake, young Brisbane born but Chinchilla raised Cody Collis has no real back ground in racing.

“My dad Russ was a keen punter and because I was so short, he suggested to me one day that I should think about becoming a jockey”, Cody said.

It seems that Cody, apprenticed to Fred Smith at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton has made a

fortuitous career choice.

This Saturday “Chip” takes his saddle to Moranbah races where he said proudly “I have a full book”.

Although they did not say it, it is a racing certainty that both Cody Collis and Jake Molloy would have been inspired by the achievements of Koby Jennings and Jye McNeill this week.

Jennings 25, was at one stage in 2012 based in Rockhampton as an apprentice jockey with Lyle Rowe, won last Saturday’s $7.5M Golden Eagle at Rosehill on the Godolphin owned Colette.

On Tuesday, Jye McNeill also 25 won the $7.75M Melbourne Cup on Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien’s Twilight Payment.

Both Jennings and McNeill pocketed over $200,000 in winning riding percentages and each honed their race riding skills on country racetracks just as Collis and Molloy are in the process of doing.

The lads at Gladstone on Tuesday collected $250 in individual race winning percentages but in an industry built on dreams but reliant on dedication and sheer hard work, who knows where their skills will take them.

Afterall, hope springs eternal.

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