Moodley scores five timer at New Plymouth

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  • June 07, 2024
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Moodley scores five timer at New Plymouth

Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Local trainer Allan Sharrock and apprentice jockey Triston Moodley proved to be an unstoppable force at New Plymouth on Thursday, with the pair combining to win the first five races at the Taranaki meeting.

They opened the card in impressive style, with Moodley guiding race favourite Dresse’ Par Joli to a 3-1/2 length victory in The Underbelly Tito Transport LTD Maiden.

He quickly followed that up with victories aboard Indian Gold, Lazio, Librarsi and Smartroad in their respective races, and he was duly rapt with his winning haul.

“I didn’t expect to get five winners in one day, so I am very happy with that,” Moodley said.

“There was a lot of pressure going into the meeting. It is not every day that you sit on five horses that are fancied in the betting. I went into it positive and was hoping for a good day.

“It is a day I will never forget.”

Moodley was particularly appreciative towards Sharrock for entrusting him on his quintet.

“To get rides from Allan Sharrock it makes life so much easier, and it makes days like that possible,” Moodley said. “I am very grateful to him for all the opportunities, he has helped me through my racing career.”

Moodley is one of a growing number of expat South African jockeys that now call New Zealand home, and he said the racing bug has been alive and well in his life for many years.

“My family has always been involved in racing,” he said. “My parents and uncles always had shares in horses. My brother is a jockey in South Africa and is in the top 10 over there. It has always been in the blood and I decided to carry it on.”

Moodley began to follow in his brother’s footsteps when an opportunity arose to move to New Zealand and join the New Zealand Equine Academy two years ago, and he jumped at the opportunity.

“Daniel Nakhle opened up his academy and he got in contact with me. I took the opportunity with both hands and decided to come out,” he said.

“They helped me to hit the ground running and it was good exposure, and Daniel helped put me on the map.

“I am now with Danny Walker and Arron Tata, and I have been with them for eight months. I had a lot of weight issues at the beginning and when I got to Danny and Arron’s, they put me on the right path.”

Moodley now sits on 29 wins for the season, placing him third on the national apprentice jockeys’ premiership.

“It has been a splendid season for me, and I thank everyone for all the opportunities they have given me and I am looking forward to continue growing,” he said.

“I would like to finish in the top five in the apprentice premiership this season and next season I would like to win it.”

Moodley is hoping to quickly add to his tally when he heads to Ruakaka on Saturday where he will have five rides, including aboard Sayan in the Marsden Cove Digital (1600m) for his employers.

“The boss’s horse has been unlucky lately so hopefully he has a bit of luck in running. He has got a wide draw, but he is working well at home and hopefully he goes well,” he said.

Moodley is enjoying his time in New Zealand and is hoping to make the move permanent.

“At the moment, I am looking at a permanent shift,” he said. “I have adapted really well to New Zealand, the people are great, I am making a lot of friends, and it is a place I would like to be forever.”


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