Star jockey Jye McNeil has yet to set a target for wins this season, but a five-time Melbourne personal best at Caulfield on Saturday puts a triple-digit tally firmly on the agenda.
Reigning Melbourne Premier winner Jamie Kah last season shaded Brett Prebble’s 20-year-old record of 99.5 with 105 City winners.
McNeil clinched a flyer with four straight wins on Saturday, including stakes for Group 3 chairman and Manfred, to equal his personal best before riding Melba Storm to victory in the penultimate race to make it five for the daytime.
He moved up to 44 Metro wins to lead Damien Oliver (33) and Damian Lane (32).
McNeil, who rode 35 winners last season, has 25 weeks to aim for the ton.
“I haven’t set any (goal) yet, we’ll wait for it to get a bit closer, but it would be nice to hit the ton anyway”, McNeil said.
“It’s definitely built confidence (winning races consistently) and it’s great to have good races for good people and good coaches, it makes things so much easier.”
GENERATION is back in business.
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) February 5, 2022
McNeil had ridden four winners on a single card five times before.
After finishing out of the money in the first race aboard Let’s Say Grace, the 27-year-old guided Worthily, Miss Five Hundred, Sebonack and Generation to perfectly timed and executed victories.
Victorian powerhouse Ciaron Maher and David Eustace booked the McNeil the previous four, (Worthily and Generation), while coach Peter Gelagotis and Team Hawkes provided the center pegs.
It would strike again later in the card with Melba Storm dominating favorite The Garden.
McNeil’s transport ended a 14-day drought for the popular 2020 Melbourne Cup-winning jockey.
“Did it (four winners) a few weeks ago at Pakenham and have barely ridden a winner since”, McNeil said.
“Things seemed a bit difficult there for a week or two, but I can’t say the same today.”
Print Manfred Stakes” width=”640″ height=”360″/>
Generation wins the Manfred Stakes for Jye McNeil. Image: Race Photos via Getty Images
McNeil’s last winner before Caulfield’s quintet was at Flemington on January 21 – the day after his party at Pakenham.
Eustace, who called McNeil’s run a “perfect”, said the talented Generation colt could possibly aim for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap and William Reid Stakes.
“Jye got it all…he let (Generation) travel deep down the straight and when he asked him to speed up, he accelerated well”, said Eustace.
“He’s building a good record now and he’s done very little harm…the Zedative is back here, which we’ll have to consider…he should win another race before going to the (Group 1) races.”
The Oakleigh Plate, which would create a clash with stablemate Marabi, is an unlikely alternative.
“We probably won’t do that”, said Eustace.
“Not just because of her (Marabi), we just don’t think he’s a 1100m horse.
“It’s not sharp enough for that.”