Celine Gaudray is starting to show how good she can be

Scott Mcglynn
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Celine Gaudray is starting to show how good she can be

It was one of the best days in Celine Gaudray's short career at Moonee Valley on Saturday afternoon. 

News Insights

  • Piaggio scoots past them late
  • Lazy Susan fails by a fraction
  • Akrotiri perfectly judged 
  • Belsielle narrowly beaten

At 22, Celine Gaudray still has plenty of maturing to do in the saddle, but she is showing plenty of signs that she has the natural talent to become one of the top female hoops in the country. 

It is not easy to break into racing as a young jockey. Paying your dues at the country tracks before making it to the bigger days is generally the way, but Celine Gaudray has fast-tracked her career to the big tracks and has been riding winners, even at such a young age.  
Gaudray has 40 winners on the season now, with eight coming at Moonee Valley. So far this season, she has gotten 21 of her 44 starters at the track into the first three. That is a rate of 47%, so she has to be noted every time she rides there, no matter the price. 

A winner on Piaggio 

The win on Piaggio in race four was a great example of how Gaudray has matured. Her mount was awkward, leaving the barriers that saw him further back in the field than usual, showing his best form when close to the speed. 
For a young jockey, this is often panic time, pushing their mount forward around the outside of the field, but at a track like Moonee Valley, that would have been a mistake. Gaudray sat sixth, picking her moment to start to move forward at the 500m and produced Piaggio to perfection to salute at $8.50. 

Susan just beaten 

It was almost a quick-fire double as Lazy Susan just failed to hold off the winner of the next race by 0.1l. Tracking the pace, Gaudray looked to have found the gap and kicked at the perfect time, but her mount was nailed in the final stride. 
She is a consistent type who has only had eight starts, so she strikes as the type of mare who could win plenty more races, but she does look like one who is going to need to have her challenge timed to the millisecond as it not the first time that she has just missed out.

Perfect ride from the front 

Gaudray's second winner on the afternoon was the ideal Moonee Valley ride - get on the front end, set the right fractions and leave enough up your sleeve to hold off the closers. Akrotiri was an unconsidered $31.00 roughie by most punters, but given the run of the race, he showed the price to be all wrong. 
Early, the sectionals were slow, with no other jockey looking to put any pressure on Gaudray at the front. It might have been that it was in their heads that she was on a roughie and let her get on with it, but when she picked the perfect moment to attack and managed to steal the lead, that was never going to be brought back. 

Nearly the icing on the cake 

In race 10, Gaudray was on another $31.00 roughie, Belsielle. A horse who is notoriously hard to get out of the barriers to a level start jumped a little better than is often the case so that Gaudray could take a reasonable position just off the pace. 
The favourite ended up saluting and sending punters home happy as Gaudray pushed her mount into second up the inside. It was another strong effort on one at a big price, her two seconds on the card beaten by a total of 0.85l combined.  

As with all young jockeys, the mistakes have been there, and often, you will see them magnified by those on social media. The praise for the good days is sadly less common, but it's days like Saturday where Gaudray has started to shine.