VICTORIAN jockey premiership contender Damian Lane has struck gold at Geelong, notching up a winning treble at Friday’s meeting.
Lane, who entered the meeting two wins ahead of John Allen, on 26 wins for the season extended the margin with his chief rival only winning one race on the day.
Lane’s chances of winning the Victorian jockeys premiership had already received a boost with Jamie Kah, who is widely regarded as the best female jockey in the world, rubbed out in a highly publicised covid breach.
The Mornington party, which breached Victorian covid regulations, has also seen Ben Melham, Ethan Brown, Mark Zahra and Celine Gaudray slapped with suspensions.
Lane’s remarkable day at Geelong was highlighted by Influential Jack winning the seventh race on the card, a Benchmark 64. Lane expertly sat the $2.60 favourite on the fence for the running, with plenty of fresh air around him. He then asked for more at the top of the straight and Influential Jack put two lengths on his rivals in quick time. The James Cummings-trained Awkward ($2.70 place) run on well, but could not bridge the gap, with Tea Tales ($6.50 place) rounding out the top three. Allen’s mount Lovano finished fourth.
Prior to his win aboard Influential Jack, Lane teamed up with Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra to boot home Steel Skies ($2.60) in the second leg of the quaddie during a Benchmark 64 over 2440m. Lane and Steel Skies needed every bit of the 2440m to chase down tearaway leader Grey Khan ($2.30 place), getting the better of their rival on the winning post and handing the Fiorente mare a second win in three starts.
Earlier in the day, Lane teamed up with the Ellerton and Zahra-trained mare Star Waltz ($8.00) at her second start and on the back of a steer powered clear to beat her rivals by 1.5 lengths. Having finished third on debut at Benalla, the Snitzel filly showed plenty of improvement at her second career start and looks a promising type moving forward.