Melbourne jockey Ben Melham took the nation’s riding honours with a treble at the Sandown Hillside today.
The deteriorating track held no qualms for Melham, in fact the wetter it became the better his success.
The track rated dead in the morning and finished a heavy 8.
At the end of race four Melham hadn’t ridden a winner but then he struck big time.
He won on Full Peal, $3.70, in the Corey Gilby Memorial Handicap, Freereturn ($3.90 fav) in the Betfair Handicap and on Population ($2.80 fav) in the Ahern’s at Highways After The Last Handicap.
The treble took his season’s metropolitan win tally to 11 and he moved into the top ten.
In Brisbane the unstoppable Chris Munce rode a winning double and shared honours with Ryan Wiggins.
Wiggin fans were handsomely rewarded when he won on Dansonate $10 in the Channel Seven 2YO Handicap and Hidden Jewel $13 in the Grace Construction Handicap.
His effort was especially pleasing as he only had four rides for the day.
Munce, with a bigger following scored on Adebisi $6.50 in the Sky Racing Hcp and Ka Ma Te $3.40 favourite in the Aust Maritime Systems Hcp.
The Melbourne spring triple crown winning rider is well clear on the Brisbane premiership.
Meanwhile, the upward spiral of Christian Reith continued when the jockey bagged a double at Canterbury.
It was Christian Reith and the kids who shone.
Reith scored aboard Don’t Blink $1.60 in the Australian Turf Club Handicap and Ashlee’s Jewel $11 in the Schweppes Handicap.
The successful apprentices were Adam Hyeronimus, Shaun Guymer and Chad Schofield.
Hyeronimus posted his first stakes win when partnering Zara Dancer $7.50 in the Listed Frank Underwood Cup.
Guymer won aboard Gaze In Awe $6.50 in the De Bortoli Wines Handicap.
And Schofield, with 59kg, scored on Atomic Force $4.60 in Hylands Kid Colours For Christmas Handicap (1100m).
Schofield, the son of Glyn, won’t have bragging rights at home as dad scored aboard We Betcha $10 in the Canterbury Park Handicap.