SA’s Champion Apprentice Callan Murray got off the mark with his fifth ride in Australia. Murray rode $3.60 second favourite Strictly Legit to his Maiden win in a 1000m (around the bend)  contest at Mornington Racecourse, situated about 45m outside of Melbourne, on Tuesday.

This was a first time at the races for Strictly Legit, a three-year-old gelding by Nicconi trained by the partnership of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

Photo finish: Strictly Legit wins by four under Callan Murray.
Photo finish: Strictly Legit wins by four under Callan Murray.

Murray sat near the rear early, but with the pace not to his liking raced around the field into the home straight and then skipped well clear, showing plenty of confidence in a race against the likes of Darryl Holland and Noel Callan.

“Callan Murray’s on the board,” enthused the race caller, who has clearly kept an eye on young Callan, along with the rest of the Australian industry. With the likes of Jeff Llloyd, Robbie Fradd and the Schofields holding their own and more, anything South African must be top class!

A visibly excited Murray told the post-race interviewer: “I am very grateful for the opportunities. The hospitality from Lindsay Park racing and everyone else has been great. I hope to improve myself as a rider.”

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