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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, June 22, 2022

On June 3, after Lemon Duchess had won for the third time in four starts since resuming from a long spell, apprentice jockey Jasmine Cornish (who had partnered the mare in all of those victories) had gone on record saying that she didn’t want to make the move to town at this stage … but that she might make an exception to partner the four-year-old mare.

And that proved to be the case when Cornish arrived to experience metropolitan racing for the first time at Doomben on June 22.

While Lemon Duchess was the magnet that drew Cornish into town, she would only run in the last race of the day … so pride of place as Cornish’s first metropolitan ride went to the Greg Cornish trained Bold Ransom (who would finish unplaced) … and then came a second ride aboard the Donald Baker trained Bean Dancing (for another experience gathering, but unplaced finish).

Lemon Duchess was why she came to the meeting tough and you could see why as Cornish and the daughter of Tycoon Ruler oh so nearly came, saw and conquered in a thrilling finish that all came down to the last few strides.

Cornish is already very accomplished at the jump. The consistent, smart way in which she gets her horses to leave the barriers and put themselves in the race from the start has become a factor in Cornish’s armoury that serves her very well.

Of course, the horse to have a similar commitment to the task to succeed and in Lemon Duchess ($11) she had just such a horse, so when Cornish jumped Lemon Duchess out well and pushed forward to lead, horse and rider were in sync and working well together.

When Magnus Bellagio ($6) tried to take the lead away from Lemon Duchess, the Greg Cornish trained runner didn’t flinch, but instead confidently maintained the rail position and the lead as the field, which was now bunching up, took the sweep to the home turn.

Magnus Bellagio had not gone away though and was a persistent presence, to the point that he headed Lemon Duchess on straightening.

At that stage the $7.50 chance Love Yers All was also starting to stretch out with meaning in the centre of the track and Count The Coin ($15) was poised on the heels of Lemon Duchess … so, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Lemon Duchess, having been headed and under pressure on all sides, would now drop away.
But that was not to be the case … courtesy of a finely calculated ride by Cornish.

When she had bunched the field up in the approach to the turn, Cornish was keeping petrol in the tank. Again, she just waiting in the early part of the home straight, before asking Lemon Duchess to take up the fight again inside the final 300m. She put her head down, rode harder and Lemon Duchess responded beautifully, showing she was really up for the fight.

With 200m left to run it was virtually a line of three horses vying for the win. By the 100m, after Magnus Bellagio wasn’t finding the extra required to stay in the hunt and Count The Coin wasn’t doing enough from behind, it had come down to a two way contest between Lemon Duchess and Love Yers All … and that battle went right to the line.

Jimmy Orman, who is leading the Brisbane Premiership, had to call on all of his considerable riding expertise to keep the rookie metropolitan rider at bay as he got Love Yers All up to snare the ever game Lemon Duchess late and so deny Cornish what would have been her first metropolitan win in her first day of riding in town.

It was an enormous effort in defeat and one which will have instilled confidence in Cornish for engagements she will take up when she next makes the trip to town.

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Ready to go. Jasmine Cornish gets set for her first metropolitan ride
Ready to go. Jasmine Cornish gets set for her first metropolitan ride
Later ... it was all about Lemon Duchess ... teh horse that brought Cornish town
Later ... it was all about Lemon Duchess ... teh horse that brought Cornish town
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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