Rising Orman oozes rare class at Callaghan Park on weekend
VISITING Forest Hill apprentice jockey James Orman confirmed his status as one of Queensland's rising young stars with two eloquent winning riding displays at the Tatt's Cup races at Callaghan Park on Saturday.
Respected for his courteous manner and his inherent professionalism, Orman's winning rides on Tim Cook-trained Samarah Girl and Darryl Gardiner's Victory Hotel capped off those attributes that make him a credit to racing.
In the process, the winning double brought up the teenager rider's 54th winner for the season which he added to with another win aboard Danniu's Diva at Gatton races yesterday.
That tally is all the more impressive as young Orman has been somewhat restricted by the loss of any claim to a riding allowance, thereby competing on equal terms with his senior jockey rivals.
Even so, it is quite possible that Orman will better the best of just his three seasons of race riding to date when in 2013-14 he landed 64 winners.
Jet Spur filly Samarah Girl ($8.00) rose to the occasion first-up from a 78-day racing break to win the $10,000 Crane Hire Fillies and Mares Class 1 (1050m) by a half-length.
Tom Button-trained last-start Callaghan Park winner Just One Wish (Ashley Butler, $3.50) fought gamely to hold second while Mamselle Corday (Alisha Taylor, $10.00) rallied late for a closing third.
Tim Cook has done a fine job with Samarah Girl and in all likelihood she will advance to the $20,000 Claude Green Fillies and Mares Cl 3 Memorial (1200m) on Rocky Cup day, June 20.
Orman is likely to again be offered the ride while on that day he is hopeful of retaining the winning mount on Saturday's Tattersalls Cup winner Victory Hotel in the Rockhampton Cup.
A win, let alone a ride, in such a prestigious $100,000 race was only a dream for Orman less than three years ago.
He started race riding in 2013 and providing his weight remains in check, his future in Queensland racing is a foregone conclusion.
While the all-too-expected stereotype subjects of winning feats in Rockhampton racing, the trainer Lyle Rowe (Imbosteria) and jockey Adrian Coome (Imbosteria and Hamilton) featured again, so too did a somewhat forgotten entity.
Enter Alisha Taylor, a far more mature young lady and now senior rider who won the Rockhampton apprentice premiership during her halcyon riding season as a teenager in 2009-10.
Beset by wretched luck and injuries through horse related accidents, resulting in a fractured arm and ankle as well as other injuries, the now Caloundra-based Alisha deserved her break - albeit a winning one on Saturday.
Complimented by the confidence of astute Sunshine Coast trainer Ray McCall to ride short-priced Walk To The Bar ($2.00) in the $22,000 QTIS 3YO (1400m), Alisha rose to the occasion.
She produced a copybook ride to overcome the perils of an outside barrier and the impost of 59.5kg to manoeuvre Walk To The Bar to a decisive win over the Rowe-Coome combo's Ekkareeza ($5.00).
"I love riding in Rocky and I'll always come up if I get the mounts," Alisha said.
"I drove up on Saturday as the price of a flight was too expensive. This win and the other rides I had made it worth the effort.
It was Alisha's first winner since Mischievous Devil at the Gold Coast on April 29.
Not one to whinge, which is refreshing for a talent too often overlooked, Alisha Taylor is the victim of the riding glut of apprentice jockeys in South-East Queensland.
As a senior jockey, her competitiveness and riding prowess has not by any means waned, but she has simply become a victim of a lack of opportunities.
Her winning ride on Walk To The Bar was testimony that given the opportunities, Alisha is capable of nailing a winning result.
Hopefully for the former young female gun of Rockhampton racing, Alisha's fine win will jog the memory of many of her former supporters ... as in trainers.
After all, a winner is the best advertisement of every aspect in the most competitive of all sporting pursuits - horse racing where only the tough survive.