Rebecca Black's horse triumphs at Hokitika while a jockey gives a winning salute a round too early
Greg Wright and Rafi Firdhaus won't forget Wednesday's Hokitika race meeting – for vastly different reasons.
The fourth race was the most emotional of races – it featured a comedic error by Singaporean jockey Firdhaus, who gave a salute passing the winning post only to discover there was still a round to go.
But the tears flowed freely when it was won by Point Proven, trained by Wright, from Winton in central Southland.
Point Proven was the horse that popular Riverton jockey Rebecca Black was on when it fell at Gore last month. She died from her injuries in the fall.
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"This is awesome. It did feel we had an extra jockey out there," Wright said on Trackside after his horse won.
"Bex has had a few of her favourite trainers winning for her lately and she has given one to us.
"This is very emotional and Emma (Wright's wife) can't stop crying.
"This one is for Bex."
Gosen Jogoo was the winning jockey on Point Proven.
Plugging home for fourth, some 30 lengths behind the winner on a very heavy track, was Firdhaus on Locally Sauced.
The pair had jumped out to a big early lead and just after they passed the winning post, Firdhaus gave a big salute, as he had done when winning the race before.
But as he pulled his mount away from the running rail, he realised that the other runners were continuing with the race. He had misjudged the 2180 metres distance of the race quite badly.
He clicked the horse back into action and to finish fourth of the nine runners was a considerable effort by the horse in the circumstances. Other runners were foundering in the going, as heavy rain made the course look more like a mud-wrestling venue.
Firdhaus was suspended from riding for five weeks after being charged with incompetent riding. But he showed fortitude to bounce back and win the next race, with a front-running ride on another outsider, Thewayweroll.
It was Firdhaus' fifth win since coming to New Zealand from Singapore late last year.
The win was especially notable as the horse's Christchurch trainer, Barbara Blackie, is easily the country's oldest licence holder. She turned 97 in July.