Trainer David O’Prey wins race named after former rival jockey Colin Browell at Bendigo

The Wodonga-trained Tubbs Gift crosses the line to win the Colin Browell Memorial BM58 Handicap, with Lachlan King in the saddle. Picture: NONI HYETT
The Wodonga-trained Tubbs Gift crosses the line to win the Colin Browell Memorial BM58 Handicap, with Lachlan King in the saddle. Picture: NONI HYETT

AS A FORMER jockey, David O’Prey recalls riding against Colin Browell.

On Friday at Bendigo Jockey Club, O’Prey – now a trainer based in Wodonga – considered himself honoured to win a race named in honour of the former Bendigo jockey, who lost his long battle with leukaemia in 2005.

He did it with the four-year-old mare Tubbs Gift, a galloper who has gone from 11 starts with a without a victory to winning three in a row.

O'Prey, who has been licensed in the industry as a jockey and trainer since 1983, was clearly chuffed to win such a sentimental race and with a mare developing into a more than useful stayer.

“She looks like an out and out stayer,” O’Prey told broadcaster Racing.com

“(She) set up outside the speed, which worried me a little bit, but obviously Lachy (jockey Lachlan King) thought she was going well enough.

“She held them off and could no more.”

Following on from a pair of 2000m wins over at Wangaratta and Benalla and Friday’s success over 2200m, O’Prey hinted a 2400m assignment would be next up for Tubbs Gift.

Brent Stanley was the only local to end the day with a winner.

The Sutton Grange trainer enjoyed success with four-year-old gelding Shaq, much to the relief of his jockey Jordan Turner.

“He was well presented (but) I thought he might have had his race before he run it – just sweating up a lot,” he said.

“But he tried his guts out and Brent’s done a great job to get him where he is today.”