She’s normally seen in red jacket and white breeches as Clerk of the Course, but Jade Tangaroa played a different role at Belmont on Wednesday.
Tangaroa swapped clerking duties for her other position as a trainer when she saddled up Choose Freedom in the Schweppes Handicap (2100m).
And the change of responsibilities paid off in stunning fashion with Choose Freedom, the rank outsider, upstaging his more fancied rivals.
Most punters were left reeling after the result, but for Tangaroa, five years after taking out her trainer’s license, she posted her first city win.
“It felt great and a lot different,” Tangaroa said.
“I only didn’t work today (Wednesday) because this horse is actually quite naughty.
“There hasn’t been a lot of races to suit him, but obviously today it did suit him.
“And we finally got him over a trip.
“It’s really exciting because we put in a lot of hours and hard work.
“It’s nice to get the result and with a horse I have a lot of time for.
“We almost had that first city win last week (Fair Joy).
“We are actually having a good season.
“Today (Wednesday) was a very nice experience.”
Well beaten at his last start at Pinjarra over 1600m, Choose Freedom was friendless in betting and started at $84.
Under a finely judged ride from Ryan Hill, Choose Freedom swooped late to defeat Savvy Dan by a head.
Tangaroa lavished praise on Hill and said he played a pivotal role in Choose Freedom’s victory.
“Ryan’s been saying for a long time we need to take the visors off him and put him up over 2100m,” Tangaroa said.
“Ryan rides all my track work, he rides my horses twice a week.
“I don’t need to give him any instructions, he knows them as well as me.
“Since I’ve had Ryan as my main stable jockey the horses have been going better.
“He works incredibly hard and never complains.
“We are getting good results.”