Talented South Island jockey Jacob Lowry is treating Boxing Day as his Christmas Day of celebration.
The grandson of legendary southern trainer Brian Anderton is one of the list of heavier jockeys, those who constantly battle with their weight and when other people are indulging in the food and drinks on Christmas Day they skimp and live on morsels.
Lowry has been there and done that and, though he will be wasting again on Christmas Day this year he admits he won’t be doing it as hard as previous years.
“I remember one year I had to ride at 54 kilos the next day and that was tough,” he said.
“I really had to waste for that one, but it worked out well. The horse won.
“This year it’s not so bad. I still have to waste a bit, but my lightest ride is 56.5 kilos.
“Christmas Day is a bit of a non-event for me. Boxing Day is my Christmas Day.”
As an annual Anderton ritual, the large family gathering will be at Brian and Lorraine Anderton’s home and Lowry says he will probably indulge in a few slices of meat to keep his sustenance up before heading into the spa bath for a lengthy sweat.
“It’s not going to be that tough and I’m really looking forward to riding on Boxing Day,” he said.
“I’ve got some good rides. It’ll be good to be back on Signify.
“He’s the best sprinter in the south. Not many down here win a Group One.”
Lowry will ride the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) winner in the Listed Allied Security Hazlett Stakes (1200m), the feature event at Wingatui on Wednesday.
Trained by Alex ‘Snooky’ Cowan, Signify shares the 60kg topweight with last season’s upset Telegraph winner Enzo’s Lad and it will be Lowry’s second ride on the seven-year-old son of Perfectly Ready. His previous ride on him was when third in an open sprint at Riccarton in February 2016.
The winner of 10 races and almost $400,000 in prizemoney, Signify has been freshened since he finished unplaced in the Gr.3 Stewards Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton last month.
“Snooky says he is more than happy with him,” Lowry said. “He’ll be on trial for the Telegraph again.”
Signify’s rivals include Tommy Tucker, a stalwart of Brian and Shane Anderton’s stable who has provided Lowry with some of his highlights.
Lowry has been aboard Tommy Tucker in 10 of his 16 wins, including victories in the Gr.3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m), the Listed Easter Cup (1600m) twice and the Listed Timaru Cup (1600m) twice.
Tommy Tucker will be ridden on Wednesday by Courtney Barnes and Lowry won’t be surprised to see him run an improver’s race second-up.
“He’s working nicely and he needed his first-up run and will be better for this one, too, but he’s always a chance,” Lowry said.
Lowry is also looking forward to riding the promising Khimar War fresh-up over 1200m in the two and three-year-old event.
He rode the Lance Robinson-trained three-year-old in each of his three juvenile events, which included a win at Riccarton last April.
“When I have to ride up that way I go the night before so I can ride a bit of work for Lance,” Lowry said.
“He’s a really nice horse and was on the way up for the 2000 Guineas. It was a bit of a pipe dream and he had a bit of a mishap and didn’t get there.
“He’s been a big kid, but he’s grown up. He should be a good chance.”
Lowry will be looking to go one better on the Anderton stablemates Zabay and Cabernet after close seconds on them last start.
“Zabay was a victim of circumstances last start,” Lowry said.
“Cabernet should have won here (at Wingatui) last time. She copped interference and had to change course. We think a fair bit of her.” - NZ Racing Desk