Lowry looking to make riding mark in Australia

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  • April 18, 2023
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If Ciaron Maher and David Eustace need any more evidence of Jacob Lowry’s riding ability, they can just watch his efforts to win Saturday’s Listed Easter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton aboard Times Ticking.

Lowry heads back across the Tasman next week for a second autumn stint riding work for the leading Australian stable – and this year he’s keen to spend more time riding in races as well.

“I’m going back this time just looking to build on that and try to make the most of my opportunities,” Lowry said.

“Last year was a great experience over there. I only had the one raceday ride there last time, but to be fair it probably wasn’t in the front of my focus.

“This time the race riding is definitely a focus. I have a lot more familiarity with Ciaron and David and it will literally be up to me, with my weight and whatnot, and if they throw me a bone I’ve just got to make the most of it.”

Lowry returned to Otago last winter to help with foaling at his grandfather Brian Anderton’s White Robe Lodge, and while working there he didn’t ride in races and his weight got up more than he wanted.

The 25-year-old questioned whether he wanted to keep riding in races, but eventually decided to keep going and returned to the saddle in November. His rides are limited by his weight, which has been about 59kg, but he’s ridden seven winners from 58 rides.

He had to be good to guide Times Ticking home, not only because the horse was giving away 6.5kg to his two main rivals Tyler Eight and Our Echo, but also because the gelding tended to lay into the others while making his challenge.

“He’s certainly quirky. He likes getting in close, but once he did get in close he seemed to lengthen his stride,” Lowry said.

“He’s definitely one of those horses who the more you know about him, the easier he is to ride. He certainly knows where the winning post is.”

Lowry hopes to make it a black-type double with Times Ticking if the seven-year-old as expected backs up in the Gr.3 Coca-Cola Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) at Riccarton next Saturday, though it means giving up the ride on his regular mount Exchange, from the Brian and Shane Anderton team.

“It’s a difficult decision because Exchange has very loyal owners, but I think Times Ticking is very well in at weight-for-age next week and it’s pretty hard to get off him really.”

Lowry said he very much enjoyed foaling horses at White Robe Lodge this spring, and in particular he’s been excited by the first crop by the farm’s new stallion Ancient Spirit.

A son of notable stallion Invincible Spirit, Ancient Spirit is out of the Galileo mare Assisi, who hails from the family of Melbourne Cup winner Almandin. Despite the stamina genes on his distaff side, Ancient Spirit was a Group Two winner at 1600m and has the potential to produce runners over a variety of distances.

“We’re just weaning a lot of the Ancient Spirits right now and they’re looking pretty exciting,” Lowry said.

“I think they’ll get up and run. He certainly complements our mares very well. The fact that ours are bred to get that extra trip, and all the foals he’s left, he’s put a lot of leg into them and they’ve come to hand very quickly. Even when they’re weaning they’ve shown good enthusiasm and good attitudes.

“As a racehorse they look like they’ll come to hand fairly quickly. I want to get a chance to ride them.”

Lowry expects to be back in July once more after his stint with Maher and Eustace. He said he is learning a lot from them not only in terms of riding but also with an eye towards potentially training at a later time in his career.

“They’re very good at what they do and they’re not one-trick ponies either. They train top sprinters, Melbourne Cup winners, and top jumpers as well. With that dynamic there’s plenty to take in from them.”

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