Visiting British jockey Patrick Pilley secured his first win in New Zealand when piloting Bridal Veil to victory in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1400m) at Matamata on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old apprentice jockey, who has won 54 races in Britain, is working for winning trainers Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard alongside his partner Hayley Ashcroft.
Pilley has only been in the country for a couple of weeks and he said it was great to get the breakthrough win.
“I’ve placed a few times, seconds and thirds, but it’s nice to get my head in front,” he said.
“I’ve been with Pam for a few weeks now and she’s given me good opportunities, so I’m grateful.”
Gerard was glowing in her praise of Pilley after the win and said she is enjoying having him in her stable.
“He’s a great boy and he rides super,” she said. “I can’t believe he’s struggling to get outside rides at the moment, but hopefully people will jump on the bandwagon now and he’ll get support.
“He is a little bit taller and a bit heavier, so it restricts him a little but he’s a very, very good rider.”