Dean Holland scores second G1 in the Newmarket Handicap

In Secret has provided Dean Holland with his biggest victory, taking out the Newmarket Handicap.

Win, lose or draw, Dean Holland wanted to keep his emotions in check having landed the ride on In Secret in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.

Holland picked up the ride in Saturday’s Group 1 1200m sprint after Jamie Kah was transferred to Royal Melbourne Hospital following a fall in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes.

Kah was knocked out in the incident which also saw Craig Williams transported to the Alfred Hospital with a suspected fractured collarbone.

Given the call up by James Cummings and Godolphin, Holland guided In Secret ($6 unibet) to a length victory from Lofty Strike ($10) with the $4.60 favourite I Wish I Win a short-neck away third.

“First of all, what I didn’t want to do was carry on, win, lose or draw with what happened with Jamie and Willo,” Holland said.

“My thoughts go out to them.

“I’m the lucky one that was able to ride light and picked up the ride on one of Australia’s best sprinters.

“James had no other options, unfortunately. He talked me through the race beforehand and showed me a few replays and a few things like that.

“He said she’s had a tendency to be a bit slow this prep, and if she is, leave her alone and trust her. She has a strong finish, and I rode her accordingly and she was too good.”

Holland had previously only one Group 1 to his credit, almost 13 years ago in Adelaide, and he admitted to feeling pressure when given the call.

He said his valet Colin Dean kept him calm while Cummings also filled him with confidence.

Having witnessed Kah’s fall, Cummings said he had to put that emotion to the side as he planned who would ride In Secret.

“We really feel for Jamie and we hope she’s alright and that’s the most important thing of all,” Cummings said.

“Then you’ve got to press on. It’s a business trying to find who is available at 51.5 (kilos) and it’s not an easy thing because the Victorian limit weights have raised to 54 (kg) and it’s pretty rare for riders to regularly be available to ride at such a light weight.”

Cummings said he remembered Holland riding light previously for Hawkes Racing in weight-for-age races and thought he was the jockey to fill the void.

“So, we went through the ride for the next 25 minutes and I showed him the replays and I showed him Dominic Beirne’s map,” Cummings said.

“He’s a pretty bullish guy, he didn’t seem phased at all for any minute with me and he rode her accordingly.

“I’ve got to give him credit for filling big shoes there and doing the job.”

In Secret has now won two feature sprints over the Flemington 1200m course having taken out the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in the spring.

Now In Secret returns to Sydney for the Group 1 T J Smith on the opening day of The Championships.

“She steps up to weight-for-age in three weeks against the best sprinters in the country, but she’s a very, very good horse and we’re grateful as a team to have her,” Cummings said.

“For his Highness Sheikh Mohammed to win another Newmarket here – the second in the last four years – is a big result.”

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