IN Racing
Stackhouse keen to end trip on a high
Fresh from a winning midweek double, Daniel Stackhouse will be hoping for further success at Riccarton on Saturday.
NZ Racing Desk | November 10, 2022
Photo: Race Images South

Fresh from a winning midweek double, Daniel Stackhouse will be hoping for further success at Riccarton on Saturday before he returns to Australia.

The expatriate Kiwi jockey returned home for a fleeting visit to combine business with pleasure and in the former role will have 10 rides on the closing day of the New Zealand Cup carnival.

“It’s been great to be home and get the monkey off the back and bang a couple of winners in and hopefully I can get some more on Saturday,” Stackhouse said.

He is scheduled to return to Victoria the day after, although he has all but resigned himself to rebooking flights.

“I’ve got a few school friends coming to the races so it might end up being a big night,” Stackhouse said.

“Silly me, I booked a 6am flight on Sunday morning so that might be too early. I was going to ride on Sunday in Australia, but I don’t have to now.”

Stackhouse was in winning form on Wednesday aboard the John Wheeler-trained Oso Savvy and the Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong-prepared Betty Spaghetti and will partner her stablemate Blue Solitaire in the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).

The daughter of Almanzor is currently rated a $31 chance in a market dominated by the $1.40 favourite Legarto, but Stackhouse is optimistic of a bold showing from his mount.

“The main reason I’m over here is to try and win a Group One. Her form is okay, but the favourite does look really hard to beat,” Stackhouse said.

“If we run top three it will be really good. I had a lot of success with Shane before I went to Australia and it was great to ride a winner for him on Wednesday.

“It’s racing and anything can go wrong and something might go in our favour in the Guineas. You’ve got to be in it to win and she looks reasonably straight forward.”

The Kevin Hickman-bred and raced Blue Solitaire was a strong maiden winner on the course two runs back before she finished fifth in the Gr.3 War Decree Stakes (1400m).

Stackhouse has made his home in Victoria for the past 11 years and is desperate to fill a hole in his CV by riding a Group One winner.

He has gone close several times in the past, including a third with The Chosen One in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and fourth in the Melbourne Cup (3200m).

The born and bred South Islander began his early involvement in show jumping circles before he progressed to riding trackwork at Riccarton and started his apprenticeship with Ricky Donnelly.

He later moved to Te Akau during Mark Walker’s first spell as Head Trainer before weight issues halted his progress.

He subsequently spent time with former top jumps jockey Tom Hazlett and his partner Pam Gerard, who now runs Michael Moroney’s Matamata stable, and with his weight under control resumed riding.

Stackhouse’s pathway to Australia opened when he won a scholarship in 2010 to spend two weeks with top trainer Peter Moody, who appreciated his talent and convinced him to make a permanent move across the Tasman the following year.

Hazlett was also instrumental in Stackhouse’s latest return visit to Christchurch.

“Tommy has done a great job and I asked him if I should come over and he was really keen and said he’d do my rides,” he said.

“He hasn’t had to chase too many though, a lot of people were calling so it has been really good.”

Daniel Stackhouse New Zealand Cup John Wheeler Oso Savvy Shane Kennedy Anna Furlong Betty Spaghetti Blue Solitaire Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas Almanzor Legarto Kevin Hickman The Chosen One Caulfield Cup Melbourne Cup Ricky Donnelly Te Akau Mark Walker Tom Hazlett Pam Gerard Michael Moroney Peter Moody