THE partnership of Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock had their first winner when Hard Squeeze, a filly by Hard Spun, won the first at Echuca racetrack on Monday, with jockey Tom Ryan in the saddle.
Hard Squeeze ran a bit green after coming into the straight, the race caller saying, “she’s running like a drunken sailor,” but she straightened and asserted herself well, drew away by five lengths and won like a good thing.
Mat, not at the track, would’ve felt a bit like a drunken sailor himself with all the excitement and he was very chuffed with the win, saying: “We only started our partnership five days ago and we’ve broken the duck quick. That’s out of the way now.
“Well done and thank you to Robbie, Shiraanee and their family and the team. Great to share this win them. This was a big moment for me to have my first winner as an international in Australia, my name in the book. We’re hoping this will be the first of many.”
He added: “Hard Squeeze raced in the famous Sangster silks for Adam Sangster, an honour indeed to train a winner for Swettenham Stud.”
Mat said that Echuca was a provincial course, quite fair away from his Cranbourne base, but that the Maiden Plate was worth the equivalent of R276,000.