Diamond to Pegasus, ridden by Brodie Loy, runs for the line. Photo: Rohan Thomson
After celebrating his 16th birthday just three weeks ago, apprentice jockey Brodie Loy has been a jockey longer than he's been able to drive.
The young hoop started his career in the saddle just 11 weeks ago and brought up his 15th career winner with a treble at Canberra on Friday.
He saluted on the Tony Sergi-trained Diamond To Pegasus in the benchmark 70 handicap (1000 metres), then Gratz Vella's Crown Time in the benchmark 65 handicap, before finishing off with Lynda Bundy's Moorings Capital in the benchmark 75 handicap (1400m).
After jumping well, Loy guided $2.90 favourite Diamond To Pegasus to the early lead and held a one-length advantage coming round the home turn.
He kicked away down the Thoroughbred Park straight and won by 2½ lengths from Ice Cold Crownie, with Gorgeous Amelia fighting on a further ¾ of a length back in third.
Sergi decided to back the son of Fusaichi Pegasus up a week after running fourth in a benchmark 74 handicap (1100m) at Canterbury.
It was the first time he had tried such a short break for the four-year-old gelding and now has to weigh up his options about where to take him next. Sergi was confident Diamond To Pegasus would win and also confident in the ability of the upcoming jockey.
Loy comes from a racing family - his father was a jockey as where his grandfather and two great-uncles.
The Albury-based hoop has been considering offers from a Melbourne stable as well as Canberra's Nick Olive. Sergi considers the Olive option would be best for Loy.
''He's still learning, but he will be an up-and-coming jockey, you'll see him in lights one day, that kid,'' Sergi said.
''If he came up here with Nick Olive, [the trainer is] going to be picking the best apprentice rider for the claims. He's a good track rider and he's a good kid. He knows what he's doing, it will be a big step-up for him.''
Meanwhile, Canberra trainer Matthew Dale will take both Not A Dancer and Happy Finish to Canterbury on Saturday.
Dale had also nominated Not A Dancer in the Chandler Macleod Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley, but opted for a Sydney start after the four-year-old mare drew barrier two in Melbourne.
He reckons gate seven in the Canterbury Park Handicap (1100m) suits his plans better - a race Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones's Delabombell is also in.
''We chose Not A Dancer to go to Sydney rather than Melbourne because she nearly drew too well in Melbourne and we wanted to ride her just behind the pace,'' Dale said.
''So she looked like being a couple of pairs back at Moonee Valley on the fence and that's no man's land.''
He considers Not A Dancer is usually at her best after a couple of runs and expects a good showing from the $9 chance.
Coming towards the end of his preparation, Happy Finish will jump in the benchmark 85 handicap (1250m) and Dale is hoping the nine-year-old gelding will run a ''cheeky race'' against the likes of Hoss Amor.
He also has Jackpot Queen returning from injury in the Flemington 1840-2013 Handicap (1000m) in Melbourne on New Year's Day.