Cameron reasserts himself in jockeys' title fight Mon, 09 Jul 2012
A treble at today’s Oamaru meeting has given Matt Cameron a three-win buffer over fellow jockeys’ premiership contendor Lisa Allpress.
In the days leading up to last weekend Cameron had undergone a 27-ride drought, enabling an in-form Allpress to close the gap established earlier by her rival.
Premierships standings were therefore equal on 147 wins going into Saturday, when Cameron was first to strike by winning the opening event at Te Awamutu on Snow Line. That was matched by Allpress when she won the feature staying event on Rising Tide at Awapuni.
The tit-for-tat scenario disappeared at Oamaru today, with wins to Cameron in the first two races on the John and Karen Parsons-trained pair Seasprite and My Latte and then his third success on Vincitore.
That win was achieved by just a head at the expense of Vincitore’s John Sargent-trained stablemate Sandfly, ridden by none other than Allpress: 151 versus 148.
The battle now shifts to Pukekohe on Wednesday, where Cameron has seven mounts and Allpress nine. Beyond that a further 13 racedays ending back at Oamaru on July 30 remain to decide end-of-season bragging rights.
An interesting season finale of a different sort could also be in store as John Sargent tightens his grip on the trainers’ premiership.
Three wins at Ashburton last Friday took him past 100 wins for the first time and the additional two from Te Awamutu and Oamaru have him sitting on 104.
The intriguing aspect of Sargent’s tally is that he is now just four wins short of the 108-win record set in 2009-10 by Mark Walker.
While Sargent says there are few drops left to “squeeze from the lemon”, his dual stable ability to field runners at practically any meeting he wishes provides a distinct advantage to achieve an especially notable first New Zealand premiership.