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Have saddle will travel paying off for Tilley

By Glenn Davis

Advice from riding legends Chris Munce and Robert Thompson still rings loud and clear for jockey Les Tilley.

Tilley’s motto of “have saddle will travel” will see the 28-year-old head to Beaudesert on Thursday for three rides for trainers Kelly Schweida, Graham Banks and Rob Smith.

Tilley’s Beaudesert rides are Torquato Tasso in the male’s Class One Handicap, Court Rules in the Class Four Plate and Seeyaron in the Maiden Plate.

“I rode Torquato Tasso at Ipswich when he was second up and still a little fat and I’ve ridden Court Rules a few times and he’s in a winnable race,” Tilley said.

Tilley met Thompson several years ago when he was an apprentice and still recalls the advice the veteran hoop gave him.

“My Dad, Ross, and Robert Thompson rode together when they were apprentices in Taree and when I first met Rob at a Moree Cup day one year he told me two things to remember,” Tilley recalled.

“He said the best motto to have as a rider was ‘have saddle will travel’ and never say ‘No’ to a ride.

“Chris Munce was also very influential when I first came to Eagle Farm to ride after I spent six months with Peter Moody in Melbourne.

“I started off with Pat Webster at St George and when I came to Eagle Farm, Muncey taught me a lot of things including how to be strong in a finish.”

Tilley has never forgotten the advice which has seen him chalk up thousands of frequent flyer points travelling around the State.

He frequently rides at all the major provincial centres at Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns and has set himself a goal this season.

“I’ve been a senior for three years now and my goal is to win the Queensland Jockeys’ premiership,” Tilley said.

“I finished fifth in the State title with 90.5 wins last season behind Justin Stanley who rode 117.5 wins but I want to win it this season.

“I also finished third with 77.5 wins in the provincial jockeys’ premiership.”

It’s already been a big week for Tilley who rode at Warwick on Tuesday and Ipswich Wednesday while he rides in three Beaudesert races on Thursday.

“After Beaudesert I’m off to Rockhampton on Friday, Townsville on Saturday and then I go back to Mackay next Tuesday,” he said.

Racing Queensland webnews   August 21