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Leading New Zealand jockey Lisa Allpress said she has simpler goals than winning the jockey premiership, despite a busy schedule that is helping push her closer to a potential fifth title.
Allpress won four races at Waverley on Saturday, pushing her to 95 victories for the season, 10 behind current leader Michael McNab.
She will be heading north from her base near Whanganui to ride at Matamata on Wednesday and is back near home to ride at Trentham on Saturday before flying to Timaru to ride on Sunday.
However, Allpress said she’s not doing so to chase a premiership.
“I’ve always travelled. I’ve never not travelled, so I’m not doing anything different,” she said.
“If I can pick up a few more wins, that’s great, but I’ve also got a mortgage to pay and kids to put through school. Riding actually pays the bills, and that to me is what it’s all about. People might say ‘what are you doing at Matamata’, but I’ve got five rides and that’s $700.
“I ride for an income, it’s what I do. I don’t ride to win a premiership, I ride to pay my bills and my mortgage. I’m just lucky it’s a job that I enjoy doing.”
Allpress may well have been in front had it not been for an injury at the Stratford jumpouts in mid-January which kept her out of the saddle for about a month.
“I feel like I’ve done pretty well to get that many wins for the season,” she said. “Normally I have about 800 rides a season, but I’ve only had about 620 this season.
“It would be very nice to win another premiership, but it’s not the be all and end all.”
Allpress said her trip to Timaru on Sunday was planned well before she started to make ground in the premiership race and was more about her general will to travel.
“Terri Rae contacted me about three weeks ago about going to Timaru. For me to go there and ride for Terri is nothing out of the ordinary – I’ve pretty much been doing that for the last 10 years,” she said.
The realities of winter racing will also make a premiership run difficult.
“With the apprentice claims around at the moment and heavy tracks, it’s harder for senior jockeys to win races in the winter because anything that’s any good is getting a claim off,” Allpress said.
Allpress had a rare day away from the track on Tuesday – with her sons away from school due to a teacher-only day, she decided to stay home and spend some time with them rather than head to Foxton for trials.
But it’s back in the saddle at Matamata on Wednesday, where she has a number of good rides.
Two of them are for the Graham Richardson-Rogan Norvall partnership: Rustic in a three-year-old maiden 1600m event, and Kashock in a maiden fillies and mares 1400m race.
“Rustic had a second two starts back. It looked like she just got a little bit lost, so on her home track she should be in with a chance. She’s got the number one draw, which early in the day in winter can be a good thing before the track cuts up and it gets you out of the kickback,” she said.
“Kashock has only had the one run so I don’t know too much about her. She’s owned by Dame Wendy Pye and they’ve been strong supporters of Graham, and it’s good to ride horses for them.”
Allpress also rides Alpino, who was third at Matamata at her last start on May 13, for Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard in a 1200m maiden, while she also has some time for Jakama Krystal in a Rating 65 1400m event.
“I know she’s off the ballot but she loves the wet track and she has form at Matamata, so I wouldn’t rule her out,” she said.
Allpress said her main chance at Trentham would probably be Ladies Man, a Zed half-brother to Auckland Cup winner Ladies First who she rides for Allan Sharrock in a Rating 74 1400m event.
“I have to get off Mormaire, who I won on for Lisa Latta last start, but Ladies Man had a really, really good second last start, and I think he’s got a massive future, that horse.”