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Jockey Jeff Clocks Up the Miles Doing What He Does Best
Veteran jockey Jeffrey Felix is renowned as a tireless toiler, but his epic road travel to the races this week must surely make him one of the hardest working riders in the nation.
Townsville-based Felix has clocked up more than 3500km driving to race meetings across regional Queensland since last Saturday and the week’s not yet done.
After riding at tomorrow’s 10-event race meeting at Cluden Park, the popular hoop will be heading off at 4.30pm on the 780km drive to Cloncurry for a full book of rides on Saturday.
And if that wasn’t enough, in between race meetings Felix has been riding work in Charters Towers where he splits his time with home in Townsville.
“I love driving and all of the travel isn’t a worry. I’ve got a nice car and I just keep going,” Felix said.
“This has been an especially big week with race meetings being shifted around because of the weather.
“All of the travel just worked out that way. At the end of the day you just do it.
“For me I’m not getting a heap of opportunities in town (Townsville) because I’m away out west riding a lot of the time.
“Western trainers are always calling out for jockeys and there’s a lot of jockeys in Townsville who don’t go out there. So, it suits them and it suits me.”
“It’s always good when I can ride in town and I’m looking forward to riding two for Darby Amos (Charters Towers trainer) tomorrow.”
Wife and manager Jenny said her husband can’t sit still.
“He just doesn’t stop. Our latest car (Ford Ranger) has clocked up 200,000 km in two years,” Jenny said.
Felix’s epic week started last Saturday with a round trip to Mt Isa where he rode a winning treble, but on the way stopped in to ride work for Tanya Parry at Julia Creek.
He arrived back in Townsville at 3am and after a short rest rode at the rain shortened meeting at Ingham on Sunday, got as far as El Arish on Monday for the Cairns meeting before it was washed out, and then drove to Mackay to ride on Tuesday.
Felix, who is 50 this year and has experienced more than his share of serious falls, said he still enjoys life in the saddle 34 years after starting his apprenticeship with trainer Tony Olsen in Townsville in 1988.
A gun apprentice and known as a fearless rider, Felix’s career has included stints in Brisbane, Victoria, and NSW and countless feature wins in the north in what has been a highly distinguished career.
Just last year, he received widespread media coverage for riding all five winners at Prairie.
Tomorrow, he is booked to ride Giant Thunder in the Brown Brothers Mdn Hcp (1200M), and roughie Tatachilla in the Hygain Class 1 Hcp (1000m).
Giant Thunder looks his best chance after the former NSW galloper turned in a strong fourth at his Cluden debut on February 22.
Tolga trainer Roy Chillemi looks set to continue his recent dominance with exciting young gallopers Missile Thunder and Palencia on tomorrow’s bumper card.
Unbeaten in two starts, Missile Thunder is at prohibitive odds to notch his hat-trick in the W&F Constructions QTIS 2YO Hcp (1200m).
Palencia, last year’s 2YO Classic winner, will also line up at a short quote to win the TAB QTIS 3YO Hcp (1200m) after a slashing first-up third to Micawber over 1000m on February 22.
Pictured: Have saddle, will travel. Jockey Jeff Felix booting home Indian Dancer to a win in Townsville. Felix will continue his massive week of travel and riding at Cluden Park tomorrow.
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