Wellington, FL - March 13, 2014 - Jeffery Welles is leaving nothing to chance as he continues to capture the top wins with each passing week during the Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour. Although he took a break with his top mounts for Week 9 of the series, he returned for the tenth week of competition with his eyes set firmly on the win. Welles rode to the top of the 1.30m-1.35m leader board for both the red and green classes held at Valiente Farms yesterday, keeping the stronghold on the Leading Rider Bonus.
Molly Ashe Cawley was the first rider of the day to lay down the time to beat in the red class with Cocq A Doodle, a young bay mare who has sat at the top of the ranks consistently throughout the Wellington Turf Tour. Her impressive double clear in 44.960 seconds vaulted the duo to the top of the ranks, but their reign was short lived as fellow Norfield trainer, Emanuel Camilli rode Emma Peel 40 to a speedy clear round in 43.704 seconds. Karina Aziz and Chacco's Goldie slid just behind Camilli with a clean jump off in 44.518 seconds.
Week 10 saw over 40 entries, but Jeffery Welles took over the lead in the red course with Bilion, becoming the day's trailblazer as he rode the talented horse to a time of 39.747 seconds, pushing Camilli into second place.
"Bilion was a little frisky after having a week off, but he jumped very well," Welles said. "I didn't watch anyone else jump off, but I picked up a nice gallop on him, and kept the pace throughout. We were able to do sweeping turns, and Eric Hasbrouck did a great job designing the courses. Pretty much, my plan was to pick up a gallop and stayed on. It worked."
Welles continued his hot streak into the second class of the day with Gummi Van Oz.
They tackled the shortened track in a speedy 39.685 seconds, more than four seconds ahead of his fellow contenders.
"I started riding him in early summer of last year, and we have really been working on building him up throughout the season," Welles explained. "He has been quite good, and before WEF he was placed in the finals in South Hampton. He is a smaller horse for me, but he has a very big stride. He is not spooky, very straightforward. He goes fast with a nice gallop that suits me well."
Candice King and Balous Day Date rode to the second place finish with a clear round in 44.153 seconds. Kevin Babington and Borindy took the third place, while Monica Carrera and Lincourt Gino finished fourth. Emily D'Alessandro and Tarantel'la took home fifth, while Derek Braun and Cojack rounded out the top six.
Welles continues to lead the Wellington Turf Tour Leading Rider Bonus standings with $17,705 earned throughout the series. Ireland's David Blake sits in second place with $10,825. Although Welles has what appears to be an insurmountable lead, this Friday's 1.40m Grand Prix and the following week's finale event will tell all. The winner of the finale event will walk away with $8,000, possibly also claiming the coveted Leading Rider Bonus.
"In the beginning of the series I wondered what they were going to do for the leading rider, but then when IPC stepped up with the membership, it was something that I definitely wanted to go for," Welles concluded. "It has been a great series for all of my horses, and has really helped to get some good miles in. The footing was absolutely amazing. Good footing is a key factor."