Soon-to-be mother Tiffany Jeffries rode Happy Partner to its first win in five years

WHAT A WIN: Tiffany Jeffries was elated when she rode Happy Partner to its first win in five years on March 22.
WHAT A WIN: Tiffany Jeffries was elated when she rode Happy Partner to its first win in five years on March 22.

Riding a $31 chance to its first win in over five years is sensational, but doing it while you're nine-weeks pregnant is border-line unfathomable.

That's what Orange jockey Tiffany Jeffries accomplished on March 22 when she guided Happy Partner past the post at Towac Park in the 1600m Orange Cup prelude, the nine-year-old Gelding's first triumph since February 2015.

The buzz trackside on that Sunday afternoon was about the improbability of Happy Partner's win and how the performance truly came out of nowhere, but pundits should have been equally astounded at the fact that there were two jockeys riding the winning horse on that special Sunday.

Tiffany's husband and part-owner Alex Prout took his pregnant wife and Happy Partner to the track that day and didn't expect a result like that in a million years.

"We thought it would be lucky not to run last," he said. "I let out a bit of a scream. I was very happy... our baby rode a winner too.

"Tiffany wanted to ride a winner before she had to stop competing. It might have won because it had two jockeys on board."

Happy Partner isn't the youngest horse going around and its form before the prelude wasn't pretty but Prout's biggest concern going into that race was the quality of competition it would need to surpass to win.

"His benchmark was only 40 and it was racing against some horses with a 70 benchmark or better."

"We planned to take him to the Ardlethan Picnic Races but that got cancelled due to the coronavirus so we put him in that race as a fitness run and he shocked us."

Prout hadn't planned to visit the track that day but his in-laws (Sharon and Dale Jeffries), who also share ownership in Happy Partner, had just returned from a holiday and were undergoing an isolation period.

"They were in quarantine so they weren't allowed to come," Prout said.

Happy Partner is currently gearing up for another run at Orange, this time in the 2100m Buckley's Carpet Court Orange Gold Cup Showcase, a race that Prout doesn't think suits his gelding all that well but still knows anything can happen on the day.

"1600 metres is his go," he said.

"It has ran places over 2000 metres before but we think 1600m is the ideal distance around here. He might be a bit out of his depth on Friday."

Prout and the ownership group wouldn't normally choose a high-class, 2100m event to put Happy Partner in but after winning the prelude in March, his horse gained automatic eligibility for the main event on Friday.

Prout, his in-laws, and a group of his mates have shared ownership in the horse for about 12 months after it was picked up in an online auction as an eight-year-old after the passing of Dale Jeffrie's brother."It was sort of a sentimental thing for us," he said.

"Dale's brother used to ride at track work in Sydney. We decided to syndicate it out to a few friends and some workmates. It's got owners from Penrith to Bathurst."

Soon-to-be mother, Tiffany Jeffries will sit Friday's race out as Adrian Layt will try to guide Happy Partner to its second consecutive upset win.

This story How Jeffries rode Happy Partner to most unlikely of wins first appeared on Central Western Daily.