FORMER Victorian Grant Challinger regards himself more of a trackwork rider than a race day jockey these days but at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart on Sunday he delivered a gem of a ride to salute aboard the Paul Maher-trained Sentry Duty in a class two handicap over 1400 metres.
It was a pick-up ride for Challinger who secured the mount courtesy of apprentice Chantal Willis being unable to ride because of a fall she had in an early race on the eight-event card.
Challinger was no stranger to the horse as he had ridden him in trackwork.
He had Sentry Duty handily laced midfield through the race and when he guided him through an opening in the home straight and the gelding did the rest to hit the line with a small margin to spare over Precious Gem that rattled home down the outside fence.
Challinger has ridden three winners this season of which two have been for Maher and he also has notched nine minor placings from 64 rides.
His career stats are even less flattering having won 30 races and been placed 89 times from 709 rides.
He started his career in Victoria but in the late 1990s he venture to Tasmania to become indentured to hall of fame trainer Gary White.
He was apprenticed to White for three years but decided to return to his home state.
But having had such an affinity with Tasmania he returned with his life partner Rhonda Mangan who is a mature aged apprentice riding in Tasmania.
Challinger loves horses and being around them gives him great satisfaction, especially when he has worked with the breaking in of a two-year-old and gets to see it blossom once if starts its racing career.
Listen to tasracing.com.au’s Peter Staples’ interview with Grant Challinger after his win aboard Sentry Duty.