FORMER Riverina reinsman Jason Grimson tries to fly under the radar these days and quietly goes about the business of landing winners at Menangle.
Grimson, now based in Sydney, landed 16 winners as well as 26 placegetters from 135 ‘city’ drives in the season which ended on Saturday night.
That’s a strike rate of about one placing in every three drives – not bad for a young reinsman who doesn’t have the backing of any of the bigger stables and has to rely on picking up freelance drives whenever he can.
Grimson heads for Tabcorp Park Menangle today with an excellent chance of a winning double.
The son of former ace reinsman Colin, Jason will pilot Balfast for the powerful Kevin Pizzuto stable in Race 4, with the mare listed as an even-money favourite despite a disappointing ninth to Bronski Belle last start when she became trapped on the pegs and never really obtained a clear crack at her rivals in the straight.
Grimson will be hoping for some luck in running with talented ‘claimer’ Oh I Am The One in Race 8 following a string of eye-catching efforts by the Malcolm Locke-trained gelding.
Just behind the placegetters in all four starts since a spell, Oh I Am The One has been listed a $3 favourite for today’s assignment and looks a chance to break back into the winners’ circle.
It could be a big day for Grimson, who will also partner Popcorn Sutton for Locke in Race 1 with the recent Redcliffe winner having only his second start for the Locke stable.
He will then climb into the sulky to partner The Bands Playing for Rickie Alchin in Race 3.
The youngster came from well back at his first race start last week for an eye-catching fourth to Tingiringi, who was ironically, driven by Grimson that day.
And to top off a busy day for the young reinsman, he will also by a new reinsman for another classy claimer in Our Missionary Man ($15) in Race 7.
Our Missionary Man has also been knocking on the door in recent claiming races for trainer Leon Jurd and with the aid of a good draw today (gate three) is expected to be close to the lead throughout and might be hard to run down in the straight.
The other reinsman with excellent prospects of a winning double today is champion horseman Luke McCarthy, who will partner two early favourites in La La Bron ($2.75) in Race 3 and Admiral Bronski ($1.55) in Race 6.
By MICHAEL COURT