Hope rides shock winner at Caulfield

Michael Manley
·2-min read

Comeback jockey Tahlia Hope rewarded the faith trainer Patrick Payne places in her when they combined for the biggest win in her career when she won the Lord Stakes on outsider Defibrillate.

Hope only returned to riding in March this year, after being sidelined for nine months after she suffered a bout of viral meningitis.

22 year-old Hope said it was the biggest win of her career as it was her first Listed win.

"I can't believe it. It's a massive thrill," Hope said.

"With my time off I got quite heavy and I didn't think I'd be coming back," she said.

"A few people are still quite shocked. A lot of credit has to go to my family and obviously my master, Patrick Payne, and the support he's given to me throughout all this time," Hope said.

"If you asked me 18 months ago I'd probably have said that I'd never stand here again."

"It's a massive credit to the team back home. We work very hard so it's good to get the rewards."

Hope pointed out that Defibrillate was a smart horse who had now won six of his ten starts.

"I thought his first-up run at Pakenham was a great run as he was really hitting the line strongly late."

Hope said she thought he would hit the line well but would need more ground but when he was keen in the run she thought he could win.

"When he travelled up behind them he was ready to go through the gap."

Defibrillate ($31) defeated Paradee ($4) by 1/2 length with Pancho ($12) a 1/2 neck away third.

Damien Oliver was to the fore at the meeting riding a winning double for Godolphin and James Cummings which consisted of Picarones and the Listed Christmas Stakes on Pandemic.

Oliver has combined to win Group 3 sprint races this season with Godolphin on Coruscate and Viridine and said Pandemic was a similar type to the win.

"He's probably not to those two horses' level yet but he's on the way there," Oliver said,

"He's a nice up-and-coming horse and in these early handicaps before the really good ones (horse) come back, he's got a good rating so he'll be well-placed in those races."

It was the lightly raced four-year-old gelding's fifth win from his 11th start.

He said Cummings and Godolphin have a good knack of placing their horses well.