Gallops - News

Collett's big year capped by Japan Series invitation

  • Mon, 28 May 2018
  • Dennis Ryan
Premiership-leading jockey Sam Collett has been invited to the JRA's World Allstars Jockeys' Series.

Premiership-leading jockey Sam Collett has been invited to the JRA's World Allstars Jockeys' Series.

Sam Collett’s big year has been capped by an invitation to represent New Zealand in the Japan Racing Association’s World Allstars Jockeys’ Series in August.

The past 10 months have been a landmark period for the 28-year-old Matamata jockey, who has eclipsed her previous best tally of 80 wins to now hold a dominant position at the top of the premiership with 111 wins.

Her closest rival on 88 wins is last year’s premiership winner Chris Johnson, who has just completed a three-week suspension. With only two months of the season remaining will be hard-pressed to bridge the 23-win gap to Collett, the daughter of now retired premiership-winning jockey Jim Collett and still active Trudy Thornton.

Win, lose or draw in the race to what would be her first premiership, Collett is thrilled to have got the call-up to the lucrative Japan series, when she will compete against five other leading international jockeys and eight locals.

“I received the invitation from the JRA’s Sydney representative Tom Sekiguchi,” Collett told www.theinformant.co.nz. “It looked pretty exciting to me and after talking it over with Dad I was definitely happy to accept.

“Dad rode in the series twice in the 1990s and he took my granddad with him on one trip. He’ll be coming with me when we fly to Japan and the four-race series will take place on consecutive days at Saporro racecourse on August 25 and 26.”

Collett has already booked a well-earned three-week break from race riding, timed with the conclusion of the season and initially “blobbing out” at Port Douglas in northern Queensland before travelling to Croatia for a sailing excursion on the Adriatic.

“The break will do me good, it’s been a full-on season,” she added. “I’ve cut my holiday short by a few days so I can be home by the 19th of August and get back in trim for Japan.

“I’m sure it will be a fantastic experience and I want to make the most of it.”