Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Amazing Grace

A Benalla-bred jockey is racing to success in the field.

January 24, 2013 12:00am

Benalla-bred jockey Lester Grace is achieving great things in the Australian horse racing scene. Photo supplied.

Benalla-raised jockey extraordinaire Lester Grace had a tremendous run last year.

He notched up plenty of metropolitan wins and is riding for John O’Shea at Randwick.

Grace, 17, said he had been busy and was looking forward to another productive year.

‘‘I’ve been going really well, riding winner after winner,’’ he said.

‘‘I had a metro winner at Rosehill riding Bound to Blush a few weeks ago.’’

The young jockey said his new trainer was helping him along well, and his career was going from strength to strength.

‘‘John’s been very helpful to me and I’ve been riding really high-quality horses, which helps a lot.’’

Grace said although he initially found a good grounding in the sport in Victoria, ultimately he needed to move to the big smoke in NSW to advance his career and make the most of his natural talent.

‘‘It was just getting to the stage where I was starting to struggle for opportunities in Victoria,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m hoping to be back in Benalla for my birthday in February, but my schedule is always pretty busy, so we’ll have to wait and see.’’

Meanwhile, Lester’s father Tim Grace could not be more proud of what his son has achieved in the sport at such a young age.

‘‘He’s been riding horses since he was six months old,’’ he said.

‘‘He’s ridden 65 winners and his new trainer is highly respected in the sport.

‘‘It was only 14 months ago when he rode his first winner at Broken Hill, so he’s come a very long way in that short space of time.’’

Grace moved from Winton to Sydney about six months ago and is a former student of Benalla’s FCJ College.

He has ridden for some top names in the sport, including the ‘‘Cups King’’ and one of the most successful Australian racehorse trainers, Bart Cummings.

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