Unabashed Mikayla Weir fan Mark Minervini will do his part in ensuring ‘Australia’s busiest jockey’ cracks the milestone of 1000 rides by the end of the 2020/21 season.
Granted, the trainer of former bonny Adelaide mare Vormista, ups Weir’s tally by only one – namely the Muswellbrook bound Personality Plus, – but it all helps.
The 2020/21 season has been a break-out one for Weir who has ridden in more races than any other jockey in Australia in that time.
Her tally of starters in New South Wales ticked over to 931 when she clocked off for the day at Kempsey on Sunday.
Weir, who rode in her first Group 1 in the Queensland Oaks earlier this month, has already smashed last season’s (then) best number of winners – 63; with 40 days left in the season to add to her score and potentially reach 300 career wins at the same time.
‘’Mikayla is very approachable and is great with her feedback,’’ Minervini said.
“And I am just so impressed with how strong she is. I am not saying she is hard on them but she is very strong in the finishes, so I am happy to put her on anytime.
“The problem is trying to get hold of her, that’s the difficult bit, because she is so in-demand.’’
From all reports, Weir was eager to get back on Minervini’s regally-bred filly Personality Plus having ridden her in her trial ahead of the debut at Newcastle.
‘’Mikayla was away in Brisbane riding in the Oaks that day so she couldn’t ride her at Newcastle,’’ Minervini said.
Personality Plus, a $31 shot in early betting on the 1200m maiden, endured a torrid run throughout but still managed to get within a diminishing three-lengths from the winner.
‘’I thought she ran really well,’’ Minervini said. “When they quickened they sort of left her a bit flat-footed but the further they went, the stronger she got so Monday’s race looks another stepping stone.’’
Personality Plus heads straight to 1500m in today’s Team Thoroughbred NSW maiden but everything suggests it will be a winning move.
‘’She has been a late bloomer,’’ Minervini explained. “Hopefully she can back that first run up with a win or a place on Monday and then we will keep stepping her up gently.
‘’I’ve had a bit of luck at Muswellbrook, I quite like it there, and it’s a pretty fair track – if you have got the ability to win, you can.’’
Personality Plus has a long and potentially prosperous future on the track but has significant residual value given her pedigree.
Her grand-dam, Personify, is by Galileo and produced VRC Oaks winner Personal.
Personality Plus’ dam, is a three-quarter-sister to Time Thief who cost $2m as a yearling, considerably more than the $54,000 Minervini paid for his filly who also traces back to 1945 Melbourne Cup winner, Rainbird.
‘’I’ve always wanted a horse out of that family and she came along,’’ Minervini said.
‘’Physically, she was a lovely filly and from a good farm; Cressfield are great breeders so for me it was a bit of a no brainer to buy her.’’
Originally published asWeir and Minervini team up at Muswellbrook
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