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Northern Jewel Win Continues Dream Run for Comeback Hoop
Popular jockey Lacey Morrison has won bigger races, but victory on Yes Dream in Friday’s $105,000 Audi Centre Townsville Northern Jewel at Cluden was a personal triumph.
Morrison is the hottest jockey in the north this year and took a step closer to claiming the Townsville premiership with her 25th win for the season in the 3YO feature.
Her Townsville tally is part of a 66 winner haul across the north (21% strike rate) that also has her on top in the Cairns title (16 wins).
It’s a remarkable achievement for Morrison who originally returned to riding part time in early 2021 to help fund nursing studies after almost eight years away from the saddle.
“I made the decision to defer my studies last year to care for my mum who was receiving treatment for cancer. I have a young son too and I just can’t give it the time I need,” Morrison said.
“Nursing is definitely my long term goal, but just not in the near future.
“I’ll stick to what I’m doing and I’m very happy with how I’m going. I’m giving my horses every chance, I’m fit and healthy and the carnivals are coming up and we have some nice horses.”
Morrison has developed a formidable partnership with Tablelands trainer Sharlee Hoffman and together this season they have landed 29 winners for an amazing winning strike rate of almost 30%.
But demand for Morison’ services is growing all the time and Yes Dream’s owner-trainer Michael Lee was quick to get her on board.
The pair are unbeaten in five starts after the Northern Jewel victory which was an easy watch for favourite backers.
Yes Dream gave Morrison an armchair ride on his way to an emphatic win over the courageous Fire King and Palencia.
Lee is a big Morrison fan and is especially proud of his crack three-year-old.
“Lacey was brilliant. You can’t ride any better than that,” Lee said.
“We’ve got a good horse, out of a very good mare and he’s given us a lot of joy.
“The experience of breeding and training a horse to win a race like this is unbelievable. It’s right up there.
“You’ve got to be patient with them, it pays off.”
Morrison has been part of Yes Dream’s development from day one and has ridden the gelding right through his undefeated run.
“Kudos to Michael Lee. He had the audacity to leave him for a month (between runs) because he didn’t want to get the weight and he was right,” Morrison said.
“It’s personally very satisfying to win it on a horse I’ve done a lot of work with. I’ve ridden him in all of his work, jump outs and races so it is really great.
“But I’m nothing without the support I have and I’m grateful for the opportunities I get.”
Pictured: Yes Dream and Lacey Morrison streak away with victory in the Northern Jewel to make it five from five.
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