A filly who “lost the plot” in her last start helped provide Parvesh Shaikh with a memorable last day as an apprentice jockey at Riccarton on Saturday.
Shaikh was entrusted with the ride on Miroslava for his employers, Michael and Matthew Pitman, in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (800m) and guided the two-year-old daughter of Swiss Ace to a neck win in her fourth start.
For good measure, Shaikh then went on to win aboard stablemate Elfee two races later and picked up seconds on two other Pitman runners, Barabas and Zakynthos.
Shaikh, 31, hails from near Mumbai in India and has been with the Pitman stable for just over seven years after previously working in England and Australia.
He was quick to acknowledge the support shown by the Pitmans after Miroslava’s win.
“They have always supported me,” he said. “All my winners (42) have been for them.”
Shaikh had been aboard Miroslava in two of her previous three starts, finishing second to Kerany at Wingatui on December 15 then second-last at Kurow in an open age maiden fillies and mares 1200m contest.
“She lost the plot at Kurow,” Michael Pitman said. “She was a wreck before the race and raced accordingly. She hung out and did everything wrong.”
Despite Miroslava drawing out at nine, Pitman felt experience would stand her in good stead back on home territory on Saturday, and so it proved.
Miroslava is raced by the Swiss Fillies Syndicate, managed by New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Advisor Jim Bruford, who has been a long-time client of the Pitman stable. The juvenile collected an $8,000 Pearl Series bonus in addition to the $14,060 first prize money.
Miroslava was bought by Michael Pitman from last year’s Select Yearling Sale at Karaka for $35,000 and her half-sister by El Roca is among the entries in the Book 2 Sale at Karaka this week