Buy Me A Beer Award.... By Tommy From Campbelltown

Chad Lever with fiance Claire Nutman.

Chad Lever with fiance Claire Nutman.

Hi Fans and Punters,

Welcome to another edition of my award-winning column which seeks out and rewards to best performance of the week in racing.

And what a week it has been. Poor old James McDonald lost a split decision to get his time off reduced and the Appeal Panel in NSW teed off about the rules of racing being harsh and unfair. It would seem that it doesn’t matter if a jockey has $5 or $5000 on a horse even if he is riding it, he or she must be disqualified. Unless of course he has $10k on a rival horse in which case he only gets 10 months……go figure.

And Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh finally proved that racing in Victoria is run by a group of people who have no compass when it comes to fairness and following the rules when preparing a case. The judgment in the case makes fascinating reading.

Then yesterday Rosehill got though its big day despite Noah arriving in an Ark. Great to see Lee Freedman get another big race win along with Kerrin McEvoy. Hugh……well he was just Hugh aboard Winx. Unfazable and unbeatable. I am not sure if unfazable is a word but if it’s not, it should be.

Then there was Gary Portelli and Benny Melham winning the Slipper with a filly that cost nothing and was given to him by a young trainer who surely must be sick as a dog this morning.

But the performance of the week for mine goes to Chad Lever. He has been around a while and came to Sydney from Adelaide a few years ago. He had a break from riding when his weight got the better of him. It has during the 20 odd years that he has been riding.

Chad is up there with the best provincial riders in NSW. Make no mistake, he is city class as a jockey but like a lot of others, has been “filed” as a provincial rider by those in the industry. He has been punching home winners at a regular pace over the last few years and travels more k’s than the Leyland Brothers to ply his trade. Those younger readers might have to google the Leyland Brothers.

He is flying in his personal life too being recently engaged to a gorgeous young lady, and a competent jockey, Claire Nutman. They seem incredibly happy together.

Yesterday at Rosehill, Chad piloted Pomelo to a great win in the last race on the big day. Now you might ask, “hey Tommy, what’s so big about that??”. To which I would reply, “ have a look at what weight it carried you idiots.”

For a bloke who struggles with his weight, and whose twitter profile describes himself as a “heavyweight rider”, he somehow got down to 54kg to ride Pomelo for Gwenda Markwell. What an effort.

I can imagine how Chad cursed the Gods when Pomelo’s race was programmed as the last race of the day and he had to go all day without food or water just for the one ride. But it was worth it and I know how much he put into getting the weight down to honour his commitment to that horse.

Chad, I see you around the traps a fair bit and next time I see you mate, I would love to go to a nearby pub and let you, and your lovely fiancé, buy me a friggin beer.

Until next week this has been Tommy from Campbelltown……………..signing off.

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