In form apprentice Maggie Collett heads to Victoria chasing her first Moonee Valley success aboard Just Like Lisa tonight.
Collett had a day out at Morphettville last weekend with three winners from just three rides and has enjoyed a brilliant run since returning to the saddle from injury riding 18 winners from 133 rides since December.
Just Like Lisa has proven a bargain purchase by her partner and trainer Justin Pickering having won three of her five South Australian starts, Pickering himself enjoying a superb run having trained 10 winners from just 43 runners over the past year.
“She’s earnt her ticket to go over and have a crack,’’ Pickering said.
“She’s coming through the grades, if she’s ever going to be a chance in a race at the Valley, it’s while she’s in this sort of grade,’’ he said.
Pickering said knowing Collett knows the horse so well was an asset going to Melbourne, the pair coming off a strong Morphettville win where they were able to make a long sustained run and be strong through the line.
“Maggie obviously knows the mare really well,’’ Pickering said.
“She can race quite keenly, last start she was able to get her to relax when she dragged her back before they made a long sustained run, and knowing the way these sort of races are run at the Valley, that’s what you need to be able to do,’’ he said.
Pickering said the stables’ recent success hasn’t gone unnoticed by prospective owners.
“We’re getting offered horses now which is nice, we’re knocking back more than we’re taking on,’’ Pickering said.
“I’d like to keep the boutique number and as long as we’re placing the horses right, hopefully the good run can continue,’’ he said.