Kiwi hoop Alysha Collett was thrilled to ride a career-best five winners for a meeting on Saturday at Newcastle.
A member of the famous New Zealand racing family, Collett has settled in the Sydney suburb of Botany with her partner, Sky Channel racecaller Luke Marlow. The pair met while working in Singapore and they returned to Australia during the COVID pandemic.
On Saturday, Collett, the sister of successful Sydney jockey Jason Collett, took her career tally to 504 winners.
"It has been a great day and I am thrilled," said Collett, who has 67 winners for the season.
"My previous best day was in New Zealand when I rode four winners. I have had a great run since I came her from Singapore.
"All five of my winners today are progressive and have bright futures."
The 27-year-old kicked off her day with a win in the 1400m maiden handicap on Brad Widdup-trained mare Pensera. Collett allowed the four-year-old to settle in last place before she finished powerfully for a 1.21-length victory.
Gerry Harvey-owned filly Queen Bellissimo was Collett's next winner, in the benchmark 64 handicap (1400m). Running into a strong wind in the home straight, the Widdup-trained three-year-old staved off challengers to win by 0.16 of a length.
Collett had a stroke of luck when Christian Reith could not make weight to ride Godolphin filly Honeycreeper in the 2YO maiden handicap (1200m). She picked up the ride and Honeycreeper stormed home late for a 1.67-length victory.
Arguably the most impressive of her winners was the Kim Waugh-trained Linguee in the class 1 handicap (1200m). Briars Kingdom, for Peter and Paul Snowden in a 1400m benchmark 64 handicap, was the other.
Linguee, a half-sister to Waugh's talented galloper, Great News, was at the tail of the field until she saw daylight at the 300m mark.
Linguee nailed favourite Eye See Things to win by 0.42 of a length.
Collett produced the ride of the day to win with Briars Kingdom. From barrier nine, Collett had the four-year-old on the rail in third place soon after the start. He held off the fast-finishing Fantastic Baby to win by a head.
Local trainers Kris Lees (Highly Ambitious) and Paul Perry (Nothing Too Hard) had a winner each.