Nisbet plans to go for gold between rides
Canberra jockey Kayla Nisbet has six rides at Thoroughbred Park on Tuesday, but come 3pm, the 18-year-old will be keeping as close an eye as any on the Melbourne Cup as she cheers for Tommy Berry on the back of Glencadam Gold.
Berry is the partner of Nisbet's sister Sharnee, and has given the apprentice plenty of advice over the years, with the Nisbet family thrilled to see Berry get his first ride in the Cup this year.
''We're so happy for him, they work so hard - him and [twin brother] Nathan Berry both, and they definitely deserve all the success they get.
Local jockey Kayla Nisbet. Photo: Rohan Thomson
''He's only young so it's huge for him to have a ride in the Melbourne Cup, we're all very excited for him.''
Nisbet stayed with the Berry brothers for five weeks in Sydney in the early days of her riding career.
''They've helped me since then, so since before I even started riding trackwork to now, and Tommy always calls me after my rides and tells me what I've done wrong or what I could have done in the races,'' she said.
Nisbet will be putting those tips into action on Tuesday as she chases the 12 more wins she needs to lose her country claim, a milestone she's hoping will lead to more rides in Sydney.
She has started getting more opportunities at the bigger meets and will still be able to claim three kilograms.
With a full book of rides, including three on horses trained by her father, John Nisbet, the young jockey is most looking forward to riding Fair Expectation out of barrier nine in race six, the 1000m class 2 Handicap.
''He's been working really well this time in,'' she said.
''He's drawn pretty bad, but hopefully he can overcome that and run a good race for us.''
Today will be the third Melbourne Cup day Nisbet has ridden in Canberra, the biggest day on the Australian racing calendar.
''It's always great fun … it's a big crowd, it's a good rush and they start getting a bit drunk at the end of the day and it gets a bit hard.
''It stirs the horses up a little bit when they get a bit loud and rowdy, but it's definitely good fun.''
Meanwhile, the Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones-trained Onthelookout, is a scratching from race 9 at Flemington with swelling in his leg.
Jones had to break the news yesterday at a pre-race lunch with 24 of its owners who were gathered in Melbourne to see their horse race.
''We took him out for a bit of a trot and a canter [yesterday] morning and he felt a bit lame, and scans showed a minor bit of damage,'' Jones said.
''He'll have to go to the paddock for about a month or so to recuperate.''
Canberra trainers Neville Layt and Matthew Dale are hoping for better luck; each has two runners at Rosehill today.
In race one, Layt's Red Excitement will race Dale's Nordic Girl, before Layt's The Red Don contests race four. Dale's stayer Notjustaprettyface is in race five.
TODAY: Melbourne Cup Day at Thoroughbred Park, Canberra. Gates open at 9.30am. First race 12.37pm, last 5.25pm. General admission $25.