Kirby gallops clear of Tan after day out
Another commanding riding display from apprentice jockey Brodie Kirby has lifted him to 12 victories in the Great Southern this season as he continues his strong association with Albany trainer Des Attwell.
Kirby was level with rival Randy Tan on eight victories in the Great Southern Apprentice Premiership heading into the final two meetings of the season but his red-hot form and four winners last Friday has shot him clear in the standings.
The 22-year-old was aboard Long Knife Brother on debut for Attwell and despite racing greenly, was able to lift in the final 200m on the outside to win by a head in the Terry For Breakfast Maiden (1230m).
Kirby now has a 50 per cent winning strike rate with Attwell here this season, booting home for four winners for the small stable.
Long Knife Brother is a half-brother to Attwell’s top sprinter Long Knife who won this season’s $100,000 Fitzpatrick Plate. “He goes all right and I thought he’d be in the first three,” Attwell said.
“I think he will definitely improve on that; he was as green as grass but it was encouraging the way he went to the line.
“He might live up to Long Knife’s name; he is a half to him by Famous Roman.”
That was the first of four winners for Kirby, who then guided rising four-year-old Double Edged to victory in The Nightshift With Luke Bona Handicap (1100m).
Prepared by Gordon Keay, Double Edged ($4.40) jumped well from gate three to find the front for Kirby where he would lead all the way and down Athlone Castle by 1½ lengths with $1.90 favourite Dynabelle running third.
“He is flying and seems to like it in front,” Keay said.
“There are no set plans but we’ll have a look at a class five next week and he’s buttered up well before.”
Emerging galloper Sunset Pete then gave Kirby a treble after scoring back-to-back wins in Albany, stepping up from success over 1240m to lead all the way over 1500m and score by ¾ of a length over race favourite Our Buddy Boy.
Since joining the Paul Hunter stable Sunset Pete has notched three victories and is thriving this campaign.
The final victory came aboard Steve Wolfe runner Red Noire with Kirby producing his best ride of the day, settling the Oratorio mare at the tail of the field before shooting home along the inside with a powerful turn of foot.
Red Noire finished powerfully in the Give Me 5 For Kids Handicap (1600m) to win by 1¼ lengths over My Girl Chilly, leaving Kirby four wins clear of Tan ahead of this Friday’s final meeting.
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