Young jockey gets his Crown

CANBERRA trainer Gratz Vella scored an overdue first winner of the season at his home track on Friday, but it was a new apprentice on the scene that stole the day.

Brodie Loy scored his maiden victory at Thoroughbred Park on Friday and backed that up with his second and third winners at the capital in the same meeting.

The 16-year-old teamed up with the Vella-trained Crown Time for his second winner of his treble in the Affinity Construction Management Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m). With Loy's other two winners well in the money, the young apprentice's win on board Crown Time was the biggest surprise for punters, with the Beautiful Crown gelding saluting at the generous odds of 16-1.

The young apprentice showed great admiration and respect for Vella's preparation of the five-year-old. ''Mr Vella is a good trainer and he just had the horse rock-hard fit,'' Loy said. ''Coming into this race he said to just get him into the open, and once the horse sees daylight he'll just go, and he did.

''It was just a good training performance - I rode him exactly to his [Vella's] instructions and got the goods.''

Third-up following two results just out of the placings, Vella believed his galloper was in good stead for Friday's race, but admitted that he was not overly confident.


''A few blokes asked me about him and I just said that he's had two runs this time in and they've both been enormous,'' Vella said.

''Last start he just knocked up over that last little bit, which was the same sort of race, so I thought today might just be his day.''

Friday's meeting was not the first time Loy and Crown Time had been partnered together, with the young hoop having his first public outing on the five-year-old in his previous start.

Following that performance, Vella was happy enough to offer Loy a second chance on the gelding, and was rewarded for his faith.

''He rode him last start, and he did everything that I asked of him, but the horse just wasn't good enough on the day,'' the Canberra trainer said.

''I said to him 'if there's a similar race for him [Crown Time] at the next Canberra meeting and you're around, you can ride him'.''

Loy also had a ride on board Crown Time's brother and stable-mate, Chosen Time, in the final race, and although he missed out on a rare quartet of winners, the pair still finished a respectable third.

The 16-year-old's other two winners on Friday came on the Tony Sergi-trained Diamond To Pegasus and the Lynda Bundy-trained Moorings Capital.