Confidence the key for Chris Caserta’s Mornington double

Apprentice jockey Chris Caserta.
Promising apprentice jockey Chris Caserta has notched a winning double at Mornington.

A confidence-boosting experience riding in Adelaide during the spring carnival has helped land apprentice Chris Caserta a double at Mornington.

While all the big-name jockeys from around Australia applied their craft in Melbourne during October and November, Caserta was happy to head over the border.

It led to him establishing new contacts and his first metropolitan-class double at Mornington on Wednesday.

“The experience of going over there (to Adelaide) has given me a boost in confidence and that’s what this game is about,” Caserta said.

Caserta has become the first call for visiting South Australian trainers who need an apprentice in Melbourne and he has picked up rides Adelaide trainers Lloyd Kennewell and Phillip Stokes at Caulfield on Saturday.

Caserta’s first winner on Wednesday came courtesy of a well-timed run on Raymax ($6.50) in the Musk Creek Farm Plate while his second on Elegant Queen ($16) in the Ron Hutchinson Turns 90 Handicap was much smoother, providing the apprentice his 14th metropolitan winner.

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“I would like to be able to keep my three-kilo claim for the winter and not lose it during the summer months, but I’m not complaining,” Caserta said.

Caserta was back aboard Elegant Queen for the first time since May and remembered the mare for her fighting qualities.

“She can miss the kick a little bit but the plan was to get her out and be in the first five,” he said.

“Once I got that I got a beautiful run in the race.

“The pace was pretty quick which suits her well and it was a matter of finding the gaps as I knew I had the horse underneath me.”

Wednesday’s race was Elegant Queen’s 35th start in a campaign that started in October, 2016.

“It’s nice to get a win before Christmas as she did it last year as well,” trainer Tom Scanlon said.