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Coleman cracks 2,000 wins on home turf
31 May 2017

The racing gods smiled on Michael Coleman at Matamata today, when in the first of two rides on his home track programme, he joined the exclusive club of jockeys to ride 2,000 winners in New Zealand.

Coleman’s landmark victory came on the Shaun and Emma Clotworthy-trained August Edition in the NZB Pearl Series 1600-metre maiden event. There to join in the celebrations were his parents Peter and Pauline, son Liam, former boss Jim Gibbs, and three earlier inductees to the 2,000 wins club, retired jockeys Lance O’Sullivan and Noel Harris and the still very much active 53-year-old Chris Johnson.

At 47 years, Coleman can look back on a career that may not have snared a jockeys’ premiership but which has included an association with numerous class gallopers, headed by Horse of the Year title-holders Xcellent and Tidal Light.

“It’s great to get to 2,000 and to do it on my home track makes it even more special,” Coleman said as he accepted a trophy from the Matamata Racing Club to mark the occasion.

The honour of presenting the trophy fell to noted apprentice mentor Gibbs, who recalled the young teenager who began his career with him by riding his bicycle to work every morning before school and within 18 months of beginning his career was being entrusted with Group One rides in both New Zealand and Australia.

Coleman’s landmark win came in a career encompassing 16,595 raceday rides which as well as 2,000 wins included 178 black-type wins and 37 Group Ones.