Former South African Champion Apprentice Craig Zackey got his New Zealand career underway at Tauranga on Saturday where he picked up a winning double including the feature event on the card, the Group 2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) aboard Demonetization.
Zackey and fellow South African rider Warren Kennedy made their way to New Zealand in recent weeks with Kennedy quickly off the mark having chalked up seven wins since making his debut at Tauranga on October 19.
In contrast it has been a quieter start for Zackey who arrived in early November and who has endured a frustrating run of minor placings including finishing runner-up in the first three races on the Tauranga card.
His fortunes changed aboard the Andrew Forsman-trained Express Princess in an open 1400m contest in the race prior to the Tauranga feature and he made it back-to-back victories, courtesy of a copybook ride aboard the Nigel Tiley-trained Demonetization.
After making a steady beginning the eight-year-old son of All Too Hard settled near the rear of the eight-horse field before easing into contention approaching the home turn.
Zackey made his bid shortly after straightening for the run home and Demonetization lifted nicely to get the better of a game Prise De Fer and pacemaker Deerfield to record his fourth victory at stakes level.
Tiley was delighted to see his stable favourite collect another win.
“He is just such an honest horse and he knows where the winning post is,” Tiley said.
“He gives his all every time he goes out there although now, he a little older he is certainly a lot wiser and knows what the game is all about.
“He goes best on the tracks with the sting out of them as his legs aren't that good and we would ruin him racing on firm tracks over summer.
“He is at the top of the handicaps so he is weighted out of the big miles around Christmas time so I would think we will look at some weight-for-age options in the autumn.
“Right now, he is going for a break as he has been up for a long time and deserves a nice spell.”
Tiley was also quick to praise the ride of Zackey, who he believes will end up in the top ten on the Jockeys' premiership ladder, along with Kennedy, by the end of the season.
“I've ridden against a number of the South Africans during my career in the saddle and they are all bloody good as they are just so disciplined,” he said.
“Craig has a style more akin to the New Zealand jockey while Warren's is a little different, but both of them know how to rate a horse and are very strong at the end of a race.
“Craig did a great job today and it is good to see him get the monkey off the back as I'm sure there are plenty more wins in store.”
Raced by long time Tiley stable client Narendra Balia, Demonetization has now won ten of his 39 starts and prizemoney over $424,000.
A son of All Too Hard and the Zabeel mare Midnight Special, Demonetization was purchased out of Mana Park's 2016 Ready to Run Sale draft at Karaka and was bred by Bob and Sandra Peters.
He is a half-brother to Western Australian stakes winners Neverland and Midnight Blue, with Australian Group Three winners Zingaling and Rainbow Styling in featuring in his extended family