Perth stint key for in-form jockey Carleen Hefel

A three-month sojourn in Perth has helped improve the riding skills of Carleen Hefel who brought up her first city double at Flemington.

A stint in Perth late last year has been credited for turning around the fortunes of mature-aged apprentice Carleen Hefel.

The Pakenham-based jockey rode her first Saturday city winner at Sandown earlier in May and at her second meeting riding at Flemington brought up a double.

Hefel book-ended Saturday’s meeting winning on the Grant and Peter Dalziel-trained Standoff then provided Julien Welsh his first success at headquarters when Don’t Doubt Dory won the final race.

Prior to taking a week off to recharge the batteries, Hefel, 31, said the three-month stint in Perth late last year brought about some confidence.

“I think it was the consistent riding, having four or five rides on a day,” Hefel said.

“I got a lot of confidence, rode a lot of winners and had some good support.

“It definitely did me the world of good.

“I needed a bit of a change, get out of the same routine and it came up at the right time.”

With winter approaching apprentice riders get greater opportunities in town and being able to claim 3kg on wet tracks is an advantage.

Hefel said the last month had really picked up with her manager being able to secure better rides.

“I hope the double gives me a kick along,” Hefel said.

“It was only my second meeting riding there. My first was the week before and I had a second and a third, so to get a double, it’s a big thrill.”

Hefel is apprenticed to Welsh and he was equally as delighted for the rider as he was in preparing his first winner at Flemington.

“She’s done a fantastic job and is really starting to mature as a rider,” Welsh said.

“She was starving for rides here, two or three a week, and that’s not good enough, so heading over there really brought her on.

“Now she’s riding great.”

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