Whelan makes a return to Ascot Park
Working a year for Invercargill trainer Sally McKay kick-started Lisa Whelan's riding career in New Zealand.
Whelan (72 NZ wins) is now a successful apprentice and in her third year of employment with Whanganui horseman Kevin Myers. She is making a fleeting visit to ride at the Southland Racing Club meeting at Ascot Park today. Two of her six mounts are trained by McKay.
The Irish rider was visiting friends in Southland in early 2010 when she met McKay and gained work in her stable. Whelan transferred her apprenticeship to Myers a year later.
She had six rides at Whanganui yesterday, is booked for six horses at Ascot Park today and has three mounts at Awapuni tomorrow.
Her Ascot Park engagements include Northern Tap and Jealous Much, both trained at Isla Bank by Kerry and Ian Taplin.
Northern Tap picked up a win and a second from five starts in her first campaign last season. Despite not having raced for five months or having the benefit of a recent trial, the Bunker 4-year-old is expected to race prominently fresh up.
"She showed us plenty last time in," Kerry Taplin said.
Northern Tap is entered for race one today, the Speights Handicap. Former North Islander Jealous Much, who has won two of three starts for the Taplins, lines up in the Coupland's Bakeries Handicap.
Jealous Much had a few factors against her when ninth in a rating 75 1400m at Ashburton on October 19.
"It was her first trip away [for the Taplins], she didn't eat the night before and she was three wide the whole race," Kerry said.
Uncle Shayne, who is one of five horses that Ruakaka trainers Donna and Dean Logan have based at Riccarton for South Island racing, will be hard to beat in the Invercargill Licensing Trust Handicap.
He hit the line strongly for second, beaten a head, in the Central Southland Cup at Winton on October 13.
Donna Logan said yesterday Uncle Shayne could race at the New Zealand Cup meeting at Riccarton (November 9, 13, 16), if there was "cut in the track".
- © Fairfax NZ News