Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Jye celebrates

It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.

BOB NICOL December 10, 2013 5:00pm

Jetconi won the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate with Michael Toll (president), Jye McNeil (jockey), Santo Varapodio, Jeanette Powell (Member for Shepparton), Gerald Egan (trainer) and Joe Vraca pictured at the presentation.


Jetconi, a nine-year-old gelding, hung on for a narrow win under McNeil’s vigorous riding to score from the fast-finishing Royal Mephisto.

McNeil said it was a big thrill to win the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate, the 26th running of the event, while Egan was full of praise for the young rider and the horse.

‘‘He (Jetconi) doesn’t know he is nine years old. He is an old marvel,’’ Egan said.

McNeil’s other win came earlier in the day, when he scored on the Paul Bartlett-trained Jillamatong in the Victoria Hotel Tatura Maiden Plate (1400 m).

Sunday’s warm day ensured a big crowd that pleased club chief executive Desiree Pettit and president Michael Toll.

Mr Toll told the Guardian he was happy with the day’s turnout.

‘‘It’s a big crowd,’’ he said.

‘‘On behalf of the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club committee, I welcome all at today’s Italian Plate Day, particularly those that pre-booked their day out at the races.’’

Mr Toll thanked the club’s sponsors, Ms Pettit, course manager Chris and the committee for giving their time to present the track and facilities in such great order.

The fashions on the field again attracted big entries.

The seven-race card, which kicked off at 1.45 pm, had punters getting the best of the bookies in most races.

Other winners on the day were:

D. & M. Stockfeeds Maiden Plate 1980 m — Super Hunter, David Hayes, Kayla Nisbet.

Support the Desiree Gill Fund Maiden Plate 1000 m — Sorority Queen, Rod Symons, Mark Pegus.

Albert Scrimizzi Memorial Handicap 1000 m — Kuaima, Mark Riley, Dean Holland.

Deutz Tractors at Bee Jay Machinery Handicap 1600 m — Sophie’s Tryst, Geoff Brundson, Brooke Sweeny.

Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation Handicap 1400 m — Idol Factor, Danny O’Brien, Dean Holland.

The club’s next meeting will be the Tatura Cup on April 19.

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