By Duane Ranger
A shortage of junior drivers in Queensland and a "pretty good offer" to relocate will see Kiwi reinsman Jacob Wallace return to Brisbane on Sunday week.
And the 24-year-old horseman couldn't have wished for a better going away present from his boss Barry Purdon when he drove his third New Zealand winner at Cambridge Raceway on Friday night.
Wallace sat in the trail behind the $2.10 favourite Lerato, before sprinting clear to win the $9,000 See You At Thames Tomorrow Mobile for the maiden pacing mares. It was the 4-year-old's first win in 16 starts.
She won by an increasing one-and-a-quarter lengths pacing the 2200m mobile in 2:46.7 (mile rate 2:01.9) and home in 57.7 and 28.4.
“She did it easy tonight. She has done well. She finally got that elusive win. Hopefully she will get some more so Barry can send her to me,” Clevedon-based Wallace joked.
His two other New Zealand wins came via the Tony Herlihy trained Red Sky Night at Alexandra Park on October 3, 2014, and the Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained Lola Jones at Cambridge Raceway on March 17 last year.
“I’m going back to Darrel Graham’s Brisbane stable. I really miss that place. I think I drove 13 winners when I was last there working for him. He gave me a pretty nice offer and it will also be a great chance to get more drives because there’s a lack of juniors over there,” Wallace said.
“I’m quite excited,” the former sacred Heart College student in Auckland said.
Wallace wanted to stress that it would be hard leaving the powerhouse Purdon barn.
“I loved it Barry’s. He taught me so much. I couldn’t have picked a better place to be educated with Scotty (Phelan) and Zac (Butcher) there. It just came down to getting more drives,” Wallace said.
Wallace left Tony Herlihy’s (MNZM) Ardmore barn in May 2013 and returned home in October 2016.
In October 2012 Wallace etched his own piece of Sacred Heart history when he became the first reinsman from the school to drive a winner via the school’s careers’ advisor.
“My teacher told me I was the first student from the school to want to leave and become a reinsman. She’d never had that career request like that before. She had to do a bit of research I think,” Wallace said.
That was when Wallace was in the seventh form (Year 10).
He said he would love to make it a ‘double’ before returning to Australia.
“Scotty is giving me the drive next week on his filly – Magical Miss. She won well at Hawera last start so here’s hoping. That will be my last New Zealand drive,” he said.
Meanwhile local trainers Andrew and Lyn Neal were the most successful horsemen and woman tonight when they won two of the eight races carded.
Andrew drove $4 favourite Credit Master to his first win in six starts in the race four, and then just over half an hour later Peter Ferguson steered $3.50 favourite Makers Mark to victory in the fifth event.
Summary from tonight's meeting at Cambridge Raceway:
Race 1: The Tony Herlihy (MNZM) trained and driven ITALIAN DELIGHT (4 B g Bettor's Delight - Chivasso (by Save Fuel)).
Race 2: The Steve Telfer trained AMERICAN BRAVE (3 Br g American Ideal - Spicey (by Christian Cullen) Ben Butcher (j).
Race 3: The Michelle Wallis & Bernie Hackett trained GALLEONS VICTORY (4 B g Muscle Mass - Galleons Assault (by Earl) Todd Mitchell.
Race 4: The Andrew & Lyn Neal trained CREDIT MASTER (4 B g Muscle Mass - Jessicas Credit (by Credit Winner) Andrew Neal.
Race 5: The Andrew & Lyn Neal trained MAKERS MACH (4 B h Christian Cullen-Eilish Finn (Holmes Hanover) Peter Ferguson.
Race 6: The Brent Mangos trained and driven RUEBE STAR (3 B f Falcon Seelster-Zenola Star (by New York Motoring).
Race 7: The Nicky Chilcott trained and driven JACK TAR (3 Br g Tintin In America - Sophie's Choice (by Rustler Hanover).
Race 8: The Barry Purdon trained LERATO (4 B m Art Major - Suidelike Meisie (by Christian Cullen) Jacob Wallace (j).
Top Trainer(s): Andrew & Lyn Neal (Cambridge) 2 wins.
Top Stallion: Muscle Mass 2 wins.
Top Junior Driver: Ben Butcher (Cambridge) and Jacob Wallace (Clevedon) 1 win apiece.
Top Driver: Eight races and 8 winning drivers.
Extensive results can be viewed here