South Australian apprentice Raquel Clark left nothing to chance before being legged aboard Dalasan in the Danehill Stakes at Flemington.
Clark had never ridden at Flemington before Saturday and walked the straight 1200m course twice ahead of the Group Two race.
The homework paid off as Dalasan provided Clark with her biggest career victory while at the same time maintaining a perfect strike-rate on the three-year-old following four rides on the colt.
Sent off the $2.60 favourite, Dalasan raced to a three-quarter length victory from Dubious ($9.50) with Express Pass ($6) the same margin away third.
“I wanted to get a good grounding and get my bearings to know when to push his buttons and where everyone else was going to go for that matter,” Clark said.
“Walking the track before proved to be golden.”
Clark remains hopeful of retaining the ride on Dalasan for his next scheduled start in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude on September 29.
Trainer Leon Macdonald, who prepares the colt in partnership with son-in-law Andrew Gluyas, said there was no reason to remove Clark from the ride.
However, he is expecting the phone to be ringing constantly from jockey managers trying to unseat Clark in favour of their own rider.
“As far as I’m concerned she will keep the ride, but that’s up to the owners,” Macdonald said.
“You can’t really take a winning rider off, can you.”
Macdonald said Dalasan would return to his Morphettville stable to prepare for the Guineas Prelude and then the Caulfield Guineas a fortnight later.
“He was a bit lost up the straight but he overcame that and I’m sure it’s onwards and upwards from here as he’ll get better with a bit of racing,” Macdonald said.