Fred Kersley’s hard work pays off with big Spring rides

The hard work riding trackwork at Flemington through the cold winter months has landed Fred Kersley with some important rides during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

And the young jockey, who arrived from Perth four years ago as a brash 18-year-old, has a couple of key chances to notch his maiden Group 1 win on Godolphin runners at Flemington on Saturday.

Kersley went close in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) last year when second aboard the Matt Cumani-trained Hit The Shot and this year partners the James Cummings-prepared Character.

And in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m), Kersley rides Kallos who provided the jockey with his biggest win when successful in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 2.

Kersley said it was reassuring to get some nice opportunities this spring after last year.

“It’s why we work so hard through those winter months,” Kersley said.

“I would like to think I have been able to build some nice associations through winter and then carry them through to the spring.

“I’m under the management of Mark Guest and we’ve been able to change some things around and put more emphasis on riding trackwork and jump-outs for the bigger stables.

“We saw the other day, it doesn’t matter what seat you are, there’s very good horses running, and you get your chance.

“It’s a little bit of a change to how we have operated before, and it seems to be working.”

Kersley said Kallos was an exciting horse, but it was a shame he wasn’t slightly taller.

“He’d be a machine if he was,” Kersley said.

“All reports are that he’s back in Sydney and going very well.”

Kersley said Character will relish the 2500m of the Derby after finishing second to Tutukaka in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) on October 20.

“Arguably if we had have had something to chase down then he goes close to winning, but he’s really taken me by surprise,” Kersley said.

“He’s made good progression from each run and although he is deep into a prep he is still progressing.”

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