Wells out for early Warrnambool success

BLACKCAVIATop jumps jockey Trent Wells will be out to get his Warrnambool carnival off to a fast start with a win aboard Why Wouldya in Tuesday’s Hotel Warrnambool Connolly Maiden Hurdle (3200m).

Wells currently sits second behind Steven Pateman on the Victorian jumps jockeys’ premiership and has the ride on odds-on favourite Tarawera for the Fan Houlahan and Brian Johnston stable in the day’s feature event, the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m).

Houlahan and Johnston also prepare Why Wouldya. The son of Al Jadeed has won two of his 10 starts but will make his hurdle debut in Tuesday’s $20,000 race.

Why Wouldya has had four trials to get his hurdling ticket. The five-year-old stallion finished second in a Cranbourne heat on March 30 before Why Wouldya won a 2800-metre hitout on April 19.

“He has been trialling really well,” Wells said. “He has had four or five hurdle trials so he is fit enough.

“It is his first-up run; they have decided not to give him a flat run because he is better at his first-up run.

“I think he would be better over the bigger fences but he’ll run pretty well.”

Wells will need to be on his game if he is to strike at Warrnambool. This year’s carnival will take on more of an international flavour after an influx of Irish riders to Victoria in recent months.

Robert Molloy, Johnny Allen and Ken Whelan will all make their Warrnambool debuts on Tuesday after the trio were part of a band of six rides to move to Australia in search of a better living.

Wells said he welcomed the new competition, which would further improve the standard of riding among the already strong jumps jockey ranks.

“They are good blokes, they are rather intelligent on the jumping scene,” Wells said. “They live and breathe jumps racing.

“They will provide a bit of extra competition and I think it’s great they are here.”