Sandown treble for Billy the Kid

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  • June 15, 2023
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Apprentice jockey Wiremu Pinn displayed his supreme talent at Sandown on Saturday, notching his first metropolitan winner in Australia before going on to post a treble.

Pinn teamed up with the red-hot Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable to record his first Saturday winner in Australia with Extratwo, before wins aboard Frigid and Deepstrike made it a day to remember.

On a three-month stint with Cranbourne trainer Michael Kent on the back of strong form in his native New Zealand, Pinn’s performance to score on favourite Extratwo in the second race at Sandown drew praise from punters and prompted some encouraging words from co-trainer Dave Eustace.

“He’s a good young lad at the right weight and he seems a very relaxed sort of character,” Eustace said of the 24-year-old.

“We see him a bit in the mornings where he helps us out and I’m sure if he keeps his head down, he’ll go far.”

Eustace said Pinn showed a cool head on Extratwo, who was sent out the $2 favourite.

“It was actually nice for her to settle in behind,” he said of the Toronado filly.

“I said to Billy (Pinn) she doesn’t have to lead so I was actually delighted to see him take that advice and she travelled nice and strong without over-doing it.

“Actually when she quickened up she was still quite green under pressure and he did the right thing and straightened her up and put the stick away and she rounded it out well and you’d think she’s going to continue to progress through winter.”

Pinn continued to impress later on the card, linking with John Leek Jnr to score over 1600m aboard Frigid, sporting the colours of leviathan owner Bob Peters.

But he may have saved his very best for last, guiding New Zealand-bred Deepstrike to an impressive come-from-behind win in the Tile Importer Handicap (1800m).

After dropping out to a clear last through the early stages of the race, Pinn saved crucial ground rounding the home turn and gave Deepstrike a dream run up the fence. The five-year-old hit the front with 300m remaining and powered clear, holding out the late challenge of Normandy Bridge by a length and a quarter.

“It’s good to get winners here on a Saturday meeting,” Pinn said. “I actually picked my girlfriend up last night and she’s over here with me at the moment. She could be my good-luck charm, and I might have to try to keep her here a bit longer!

“We got a bit further back than intended (on Deepstrike), and I just decided to ride him for a bit of luck. Being the last race of the day, I suppose there isn’t really a good part of the track, so it’s worked out pretty well.

“I actually galloped this horse on Tuesday and his work was really good, so I was bullish about his chances.”

Deepstrike was bred by the late Sir Patrick Hogan in partnership with his wife Lady Justine Hogan. He is by Tavistock out of the Zabeel mare Obey, whose three winners from four foals to race also include the stakes-placed Zabay.

Deepstrike was offered by Cambridge Stud at Karaka in 2019, where Mick Price Racing secured him for $280,000.

Trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr and racing in the colours of prominent owner Rupert Legh, Deepstrike has had 21 starts for seven wins, three placings and A$401,625 in stakes.

“This horse has always been talented,” Kent said. “He loves 1800m races at Sandown, where he’s had three wins and a second from four starts. He’s not a big horse, so he likes having a light weight.

“It was a genius ride by the kid. I asked if he’d drop back and then go around the outside of them, and he nodded, but then he went straight up the inside. The secret’s out now how well this kid rides.”

Pinn rode well throughout the day, with a trio of runner-up finishes on Irish Butterfly, Nasraawy and He’s Our Bonneval to go with his winners.

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