HOOPERT ALL CLASS
RACING: Caloundra based jockey Jason Hoopert can remember his first winning ride.
It was January 1, 1990 on board Glacier Lady.
It was also on the sand track of Gympie's iconic racecourse, and although Hoopert has ridden hundreds of winners since then, the gold city has continued to hold a special place in the veteran hoop's heart.
"Everyone always remembers their first winning ride,” Hoopert says with a wry smile.
And he had every reason to be smiling, after steering the Kerry Munce trained galloper Saurimo home to claim the $10,000 feature race at Gympie Turf Club's first meet of the 2017 racing calendar at the weekend.
The win capped off a remarkable day for Hoopert and Munce. They teamed up to win the previous race, a benchmark 65, on board Saurimo's stable-mate Shoulda to Shoulda.
"I ride for Muncey (Kerry Munce) regularly and I have always wanted to ride him (Shoulda to Shoulda).
"I have chased him in a race plenty of times and never been able to catch him,” Hoopert said.
However it was Saurimo's performance in the feature that had Hoopert excited.
"I was worried there for a while,” Hoopert said.
"Some other horses got to me about 200m out but when Saurimo found he just kept kicking and I knew they weren't going to get past me.”
Winning trainer Kerry Munce said his charger was always in with a shot given his preparation.
"He has been up a fair while and unlucky on a few of his runs,” Munce said.
"The owner wanted to spell him but I wanted him to keep going for this race.”
The Gympie Turf Club next meets in April for the 100 Club Race Day before adjourning in May for the Gympie Show.