HE CAN RIDE A WINNER: Rockhampton jockey Matthew Cant cleaned up at the Thangool Races on the weekend, winning the first two races, nabbing second and narrowly missing a poduim finish in another. Pictures by RUSSEL GUSE.
HE CAN RIDE A WINNER: Rockhampton jockey Matthew Cant cleaned up at the Thangool Races on the weekend, winning the first two races, nabbing second and narrowly missing a poduim finish in another. Pictures by RUSSEL GUSE.

Cant cleans up

MATTHEW Cant has proven that he can - can ride a winner.

The experienced Rockhampton jockey dominated the Motels Race Day at the Thangool track on Saturday.

In a blistering start, the 32-year-old Cant won the first two races, grabbed second in the third and narrowly missed a placing in the fourth, finishing fourth.

His ride in the last race, Careless And Crazy, was scratched, costing him a chance to star in all races on the card.

Cant's entry into the racing industry is a story that has to be heard to be believed.

Fifteen years ago, Cant was working in advertising at one of entrepreneur John Singleton's Sydney agencies when “Singo” strode into the office one day and saw Cant.

“You'd be a good jockey,” the larrikin businessman who has interests in radio, racing and publishing, told him.

Singleton then rang up a trainer and sent the surprised Cant over to try his luck.

“I didn't know one end of the horse from the other,” Cant said.

He said Singleton told him if it didn't work out, he could come back to advertising.

“I never want back,” the jockey said.

His first ride was at the Wyong Cup meeting.

“It was exhilarating.

“I just love the thrill and the speed and the connection with the animal.

“It's something that gets in your blood,” Cant said.

He married a Rockhampton girl in Sydney and ended up in the Beef City four years ago.

A horrific race fall in June, 2007, saw him break his back, puncture his lungs and lose some teeth.

After a long recovery, Cant started in a new professional as an apprentice electrician, but racing was well and truly in his blood.

He now rides on Saturdays in what he calls a “professional hobby.”

Cant still aspires to win on his rides, as he did on Saturday.

Thangool Race Club secretary Edwina Devine said they were expecting the smaller crowd that attended the meet due to several races being held close together in coming weeks.

“Queensland Racing has given the club a terrible program, racing close together now in winter and only one meet in September and one in December,” Devine said.

We have lost Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup and are very upset about that.

“All our protesting has fallen on deaf ears.”

RACE RESULTS

Race 1 MDN-SW Distance: 1075 metres.

1 St Abbie, M Cant (jockey), Jim Lewis (trainer); 2 Our Ziggy, I Coombes, Andrew Hayward; 3 Zahoo, N Patchett, Denis Schultz.

Race 2 CL3-SW Distance: 1075 metres.

1 Hedarny, M Cant, Julie Green, 2 Hardly a Game, Ms A Kitson, Denis Schultz; 3 Regal Mountain, N Patchett, Brian Challacombe.

Race 3 CL6-SW Distance: 1200 metres.

1 Zero Hero, P Spry, Tom Dougall; 2 Fuhrmidable, M Cant, William Melvin; 3 Flying Squaw, Ms C Priest, Allan Gooden.

Race 4 CLB Distance: 1400 metres.

1 Tayanso, N Patchett, Brian Challacombe; 2 Berrima Boogie (NZ), Ms C Priest, Michael Courtney; 3 Truthful, K Mizobe, Mark Lehmann.

Race 5 CL1 Distance: 800 metres.

1 Zahmao, K Mizobe, Denis Schultz, 2 Haylee Miss, I Coombes, Scott Pedron; 3 Speed Limit, N Patchett, John O'Sing.


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