Selvan goes back to what he knows

JAMIE SEARLE
Last updated 05:00 17/12/2012
Kalai Selvan
SOUTHPICS
BACK IN SOUTHLAND: Kalai Selvan in the winners circle at Ascot Park on Saturday.

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Jockey Kalai Selvan teamed up with his old boss Jack Gordon for a win at Ascot Park on Saturday.

Gordon, who trains in partnership with his daughter Jo, employed Selvan when he moved from Canterbury to Invercargill in 1998. Selvan lived with Jack Gordon and his wife Verona.

''Jack and (trainer) Barry Howden have been good to me. They gave me rides when I first got down here,'' Selvan said.

Now living in New Caledonia, Selvan is on his annual working holiday in Southland. He returns to New Caledonia next month.

Selvan was thrilled to win on the Gordon-trained The Gordonian in the Jesco Hydraulics Handicap on Saturday.

''I wanted to get that (win) for Jack and his family. They've always been there for me,'' Selvan said.

Meanwhile, Wingatui apprentice Toni Direen rode to trainer Graham Dobbs's instructions in the $25,000 Coupland's Bakeries Crystals Handicap.

Direen, riding Ya Dreamin Jonesy for the first time, used front-running tactics to win the day's feature staying race, of 2200m.

''The plan was to keep him rolling in front,'' Direen, 19, said.

''They came up to him just before the turn, but he kept finding more and more. He never gave in.''

Direen has recorded 46 wins, with her first being on The Boys at Gore two years ago.

El Chico (Transit Homes Ltd Handicap) and Berenice (Vinyl Bar 3-Year-Old Handicap) were successful on Saturday for Christchurch trainer Michael Pitman, whose win tally for the season stands at 21.

El Chico accelerated sharply in the concluding stages to win by one and a-quarter lengths in 1min 11.73sec (1200m). His mission on the holiday circuit is the $50,000 Eclipse Stakes at Wingatui on Boxing Day.

Stewards stood down apprentice KC Walters for three weeks after he suffered concussion in the Speight's and More FM Handicap. Walters fell from Split Decision near the 500m.

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- The Southland Times

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