For the second year in succession Michael Mitchell, the English-born jumps jockey who made his mark in New Zealand, has pulled off a surprise win in the Grade 1 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase (3300m).
Mitchell guided Show Court, a son of Vinnie Roe, to victory over the previously unbeaten favourite Iranistan at Saratoga Springs on Monday (US time).
Twelve months ago Mitchell won the same race on Swansea Mile, who hadn’t been successful in his previous 11 starts. That win on Swansea Mile came three months after Mitchell suffered an horrific fall, leaving him with a broken eye socket and cheekbone, shattered jaw and concussion.
Mitchell was the Jumps Jockey of the Year at the 2014-15 New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards and rode 20 winners the following season, including the Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) aboard High Forty, before heading to the United States.