Hope and Riordan to the fore at SandownWednesday 3 January 2018
Apprentice Tahlia Hope wants to become more of a city slicker after riding her first metropolitan double at Sandown.
Hope took out Wednesday's Chandler Macleod Plate on debutant McGarrett before guiding Patriot Act to a narrow all-the-way win in the Sheen Group Handicap.
The 19-year-old has been riding the crest of a wave in recent weeks.
A career-high quartet came her way at Echuca on December 20 followed by a double at Yarra Valley two days later.
Further country wins followed at Werribee, Echuca and Wangaratta while Wednesday's double at Sandown is part of her long-term future goal.
With her country claim now down to 1.5kg, Hope said Wednesday's double was doubly important.
"In the country I'm only claiming 1.5 kilos and, while it hasn't yet, I feel my rides will dry up because of that," Hope said.
"I think it's my time to hit town, get a roll on and use my three kilo claim to try and outride my claim in both the country and in town."
Hope, apprenticed to her father Shannon Hope at Seymour, said she had gained a lot of confidence following her four-timer at Echuca.
"I think confidence is a massive thing," she said.
"I take everything to heart, as Dad would say, but my confidence has grown a heap and I'm feeling that I'm riding the best I ever have.
"I can't complain how things are going and it's rolled on into the New Year, so I'm thankful for that."
Fellow apprentice Liam Riordan also chalked up his first metropolitan double with both winners coming for the Lindsay Park stable which had a winning treble.
Riordan, 20, piloted Rokda Kasba to win the United Petroleum Handicap and Booradley in the Ladbrokes Handicap while Lindsay Park's first winner El Phoenix in the Sheamus Mills Bloodstock handicap was ridden by Mark Zahra.
"It's a big thrill," Riordan said.
"I couldn't have done it without the support of Lindsay Park and both horses were in their right races."