Patrick Carbery has sights set on the Northerly Stakes
Patrick Carbery knows how to win the Northerly Stakes (1800m).
He’s eyeing his third consecutive win in the Group 1 event and fourth in the last seven years.
He was able to win it aboard tough geldings Pounamu in 2017 and Regal Power (2021), as well as boom filly Amelia’s Jewel (2022).
Now he’s looking to steer a mare to victory in the form of the Darren Mcauliffe-trained The Velvet Queen in the Weight-For-Age contest.
Patrick Carbery said he wanted to make the most of the opportunity presented to him in the Northerly Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, a race he holds in the highest regard.
“When you win these sorts of races, the older you get the more you understand they aren’t easy to win,” Carbery told The Races WA.
“When you’re young you tend to take it for granted.
“I was 25 when I won my first Group 1 (Machine Gun Tom in the 1998 Railway Stakes) and didn’t appreciate it as much as I do today.
“My first two Group 1 wins were in the Railway and after that I always wanted to win what was then the Fruit ‘N’ Veg Stakes and now the Northerly.
“I remember thinking I wanted to tick that one off and now I’ve been lucky to win three of them.”
Amelia’s Jewel entered last year’s Northerly Stakes off a dominant win in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) and was widely expected to win in the fashion she did.
Regal Power upstaged stablemate Western Empire in the 2021 edition but was already a proven Weight-For-Age performer, having won the All Star Mile more than 18 months earlier.
Carbery said it was his first success in the race aboard the Alan Mathews-trained Pounamu he took a great deal of satisfaction out of.
“He was special in a different way because it was Alan’s first Group 1 and our only Group 1 together,” he said.
“That horse came from Sydney as a bit of an enigma and non-winner.
“He ran a lot of seconds and thirds in good company over here.
“I was super confident after his run in the Railway a fortnight before.
“I felt he’d come on heaps from that run the way he worked seven days before as well.”
Unlike Amelia’s Jewel last year, The Velvet Queen is set to head into this year’s edition of the Northerly Stakes largely under the radar.
The Universal Ruler mare finished ninth in the Railway Stakes behind Bustler after she settled at the rear of the field in running.
Carbery said he saw some similarities in The Velvet Queen’s run to that of Pounamu in 2017.
“I couldn’t knock the run,” he said.
“She’s not quite as brilliant as Pounamu but it was a very similar run.
“She didn’t muster any speed from the gate and got caught behind a few that were struggling at the 600.
“The main thing will be to get on the back of the better ones on Saturday.”
The Velvet Queen is rated a $26 chance with TABtouch for the Group 1 event, behind race favourite Zaaki at $2.60.
Despite the big quote, The Velvet Queen is no stranger to performing in Weight-For-Age company, having already been competitive in the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) and Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) earlier this year.
Paul Harvey and Steven Parnham share the honour of being the most successful jockeys in the rich history of the Northerly Stakes at four wins apiece.
Carbery gets a golden opportunity to join that club this weekend and it might just be one of his finest achievements in the saddle if he does so.
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