Robbie Dolan is already a rising star of the apprentice ranks and he’s only getting better.
The Irish-born hoop made the move down under to make his mark on the Australian racing scene and did just that on the nation’s biggest race day.
Dolan was the toast of Kembla Grange on Melbourne Cup day as he put on a riding clinic on-route to a winning treble.
Dolan – who has currently ridden more winners than an other New South Wales apprentice this season – had a double after just three races and completed his hat-trick with a well-executed steer on Scarlet Dream in race six.
“It doesn’t get much better than this unless you’re riding in the Cup,” Dolan said of his Cup day experience.
His win on Scarlet Dream was the most impressive of the trio and his second of the day for Sydney trainer Mark Newnham.
After settling near the rear of the field, he was forced to make a wide run on the back of a muddling tempo on the Sebring filly.
When he asked for an effort, the lightly-raced three-year-old responded accordingly and surged two lengths clear of John O’Shea’s Merlinite in the Go Hire Maiden Handicap (1600m).
The Brooke Somers-trained Celebrator held on for third.
Dolan felt the maiden victory was just the beginning of a promising career for Scarlet Dream.
“She was very impressive and will definitely get further,” he said.
Dolan’s first winner on the card was far less convincing after he was forced to survive a protest following his ride on Battle Anthem.
Runner-up Archemedus’ rider Chad Lever had alleged interference at the 600m pole, but stewards dismissed the decision and allowed Donna Grisedale’s sprinter to break his maiden in the 1000m scamper.
There were no such doubts when he linked up with Shadow Bridge in the third.
The apprentice was able to control the speed on the Newnham-trained sprinter and kicked well clear in the straight to score by 2-½ lengths over Anthony and Edwards Cummings’ November Man.
"He is definitely the sort of horse that can win a mid-week on that. He was doing it easy, swishing his tail,” Dolan said.
"He was just messing around so he still has a lot to build on."
"Looking at his replay from Newcastle and he probably did the same thing there."
"I only hit him once and I could feel him getting a little bit angry at me so I just pushed him out hands and heels.”
Fellow apprentice Rachel Hunt also tasted success on The Cartoonist for trainer Paul Cave.