Alysha Collett eyeing Group 1 glory on Aramayo in the Epsom

Alysha Collett
After stints in New Zealand and Singapore, Kiwi jockey Alysha Collett is aiming for Group 1 glory in Australia. (Trish Dunell)

Alysha Collett will be looking to add an Australian Group 1 win to her resume when she partners Aramayo in Saturday’s Epsom Handicap at Royal Randwick.

After kicking off her riding career under Chris Waller’s care in 2012, the sister of Jason Collett headed across the Tasman and won her first Group 1 aboard Consensus in the Zabeel Classic en route to a second-place finish in the 2016/17 New Zealand Jockey Premiership.

Now back riding in Australia, Collett sits second on the New South Wales Jockey Premiership, just eight wins behind James McDonald.

Collett has relocated herself into the ‘Metropolitan Bubble’ for the next few weeks as she looks to secure rides in Group 1 races in Sydney.

This weekend, Collett will partner Aramayo in the Epsom Handicap, Charms Star in the Metropolitan Handicap and Chill in the Flight Stakes.

“I’ve had success at this level before, so getting it in Australia would be a fantastic thing to do,” Collett told SEN Track.

“Obviously the horses I’m riding for him (Waller), I have had previous connections with – Aramayo I have.

“Getting back on him will be great.”

While Collett has not ridden Aramayo on race day before, her older brother Jason has partnered the six-year-old in his two lead-up runs to the Epsom.

Although her brother would have no doubt wanted to keep the ride aboard the $11 chance, Aramayo drops 6.5kg from his last run and will carry only 51.5kg on Saturday, which sees Alysha take over the reins.

“I think he drops 6.5kg … his first-up run behind Zaaki, it was great,” she said.

“Fresh up over 1400m in the Tramway (Stakes), he ran home really strong.

“The next run, it was a little bit steady; sort of a front bias inside track that day in the (Bill Ritchie Stakes) and he still got home really well.

“He does drop a massive amount in weight, he gets to the mile which is probably more suited to him.

“I’m looking forward to riding him, he’s a gentleman to ride also.”

Collett will be hoping to get the inside info from her brother in the coming days to ensure she knows the gelding inside and out ahead of the Epsom.

“I’ll have to talk to Jase a little bit about his previous runs, but I’m pretty sure from what I’ve heard he was really happy,” she said.

Aramayo has drawn exceptionally well in barrier five this Saturday, which is likely to allow Collett to settle a touch closer than what we have seen in the horse’s first two runs this preparation, although she won’t be trying to change too much.

“Lately in his last two races, he has been getting back from outside barriers – he hasn’t really been blessed with them,” she said.

“He’s got barrier five – I haven’t had a really decent look at the field yet, but on knowing where the other ones are drawn, there’s a lot of speed out wide, so he should really get a nice trip just midfield in behind them.”

Aramayo is an $11 chance in the Epsom Handicap, which will be run and won from 4:05pm AEST on Saturday, October 2 at Royal Randwick.

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