By Michael Manley
Young jumps jockey Aaron Mitchell continued his impressive first year as a jumps rider with a winning double at Coleraine on Sunday which was also followed by two flat winners to make it a red-letter day for the 24-year-old.
It gave Mitchell a flying start to the new racing season, with four winners and a third from six rides at Coleraine.
Mitchell, who had his first jumps ride in May, took his jumps tally of winners to six from only 16 rides at a strike rate of 37.5%.
Amazingly he has ridden two doubles in that haul as he also recorded a double at Casterton on June 27.
Before the turn he let Historic go and he quickly gathered that pair in and sprinted clear to win by two lengths over The Dominator.
His next winner came for Patrick Payne when Eckhart won the Selkirk East Pastoral/Mane On Henty Casterton Hurdle (3300m).
Initially, Mitchell sat back on Eckhart but with a lap to go he made a move around the field to take the lead which he then shared before dashing clear with 600m to go.
The former leading Western Australian apprentice retired from race riding two years ago but decided to come back to riding as a jumps jockey after riding track-work at Patrick Payne’s.
Pateman said he was impressed with Mitchell’s riding ability over the jumps.
“He’s a beautiful rider. He has lovely hands and he rates them well,” Pateman said,
Pateman said he would consider giving Historic one more start this time in but on the proviso that next Sunday’s meeting would be transferred from Coleraine to Casterton.
“That’s not my decision to make but the Coleraine track is quite heavy as it's had a lot of racing. It raced on Sunday as a Heavy 9 and Historic doesn’t really like the bog tracks,” Pateman said.
Pateman said he was already focusing on next year’s Great Eastern Steeplechase as Historic’s main target for 2022.
“He’s one of the first horses we bought and he didn’t cost much. He’s like a family pet to us,” Pateman said.
“He ran super. He’s a promising horse. He loved the conditions,” Pateman said.