Daniel Stackhouse guides Real Sensation to victory at The Valley. (Image: Racing Photos)

Daniel Stackhouse guides Real Sensation to victory at The Valley. (Image: Racing Photos)

Rodeo display costs favourite

In-form apprentice jockey Celine Gaudray has shown off her skills in the saddle by managing to stay aboard the buck-jumping Piaggio in the sixth race at The Valley on Saturday.

Sent off as the $3.50 favourite for the Ladbrokes Blackbook Handicap over 1600m, the Greg Eurell-trained gelding pig-rooted shortly after leaving the barriers and only completed the first 300m of the race before he was eased out of it by Gaudray.

The talented young rider noted that Piaggio isn’t a straightforward horse to deal with and that he wasn’t on his best behaviour either when she rode him to his last start win at Caulfield.

“He’s a quirky horse,” Gaudray said.

“At Caulfield, he obviously had a bit of a play in the mounting yard, but today he actually didn’t give me any indication that he was going to pig-root or buck. Going out, he was terrific, behind the gates, he was terrific, whereas at Caulfield, he was really pumped and up and about, just being himself.

“As soon as I jumped out, I think the saddle might’ve come back a touch, small saddle on for the first time, he had the minimum gear; I think something was pinching him. Him being a quirky horse as well probably didn’t really help.”

Despite her best efforts, Gaudray couldn’t get Piaggio back on track in the race and instead, the pair returned to scale, accompanied by one of the clerks of the course.

“I really wanted to get him out of it because I really wanted to ride him, I thought he was a really good chance today, so I did try my best to get him out of it, but I unfortunately couldn’t,” Gaudray said.

Instead, it was the Luke Oliver trained Real Sensation who flew home under Daniel Stackhouse to take out the event ahead of Soaring Eagle, with Space Tracker finishing third.