The already close race for the Southern District Racing Association jockeys premiership is even tighter after Nick Souquet claimed a double, including the feature win, at Narrandera on Sunday.
The experienced Wodonga hoop hit the front after Itsa Fait Accompli’s win in the Leeton Toyota Narrandera Cup – SDRA Winter Series (1600m).
With the cup win and his earlier success aboard Grey Strike Souquet drew level with Nick Heywood on 27 wins for the season.
However Heywood then added to his tally with Kruanai winning the last race.
Rebeka Prest also threw her hat in the ring with a double.
She rode Powerscourt and Selinora to victory as she looks to follow in the footsteps of Megan Taylor and become just the second female winner of the title after Taylor’s historic win last season.
With one meeting left in the season, at Albury next Tuesday, Heywood leads Souquet by one.
Simon Miller, Josh Richards and Prest are a further win behind after Prest’s double saw her tally grow to for the season to 26.
Souquet believes he’s chasing his eighth title success and was surprised when told just how tight the race is.
“I didn’t even know about it until someone told me,” Souquet said.
Souquet shared the premiership in 2014-15 with Miller and John Kissick.
He was originally the outright winner before losing one win through a positive swab to see a race three-way tie.
It is his most recent success.
Itsa Fait Accompli rediscovered his winning ways in the cup after breaking an eight-month drought.
The first Southern District horse to win a Highway Handicap hadn’t won since winning his second in December.
He was unplaced in his last two starts in the city before a spell and then had two more unplaced efforts heading to Narrandera.
However Souquet was far from disappointed with his form coming into the race.
“He went good and they thought he would run very good,” he said.
“His run previous at Wagga was a good run behind a pretty smart little horse and this horse has won a couple of races in Sydney.
“He only got beat three lengths by a horse who is probably up to midweek class in Cash Crisis.”
Souquet was also aboard the impressive Grey Strike.
The Phil Sweeney trained five-year-old made it three wins in a row in the Landmark Narrandera & Fabstock Wagga Benchmark 65 Hcp (1000m) however needs to have a break from racing after a bleeding attack.
After bleeding from both nostrils for the first time he’s been stood down from racing for the next three months.