Jockeys seldom get a race named in their honour so, when they do, it’s quite an achievement to actually win it.
Turkish jockey Ismail Toker has had two races named after him since he’s been riding in Tasmania – and won them both.
He took out the Ismail Toker Plate on Sounds Like Fun at Spreyton 18 months ago and completed a double when he won the Ismail Toker Handicap on jockey appreciation night at Mowbray on Wednesday.
To complete the coincidence, both horses are prepared by Longford trainer Peter Luttrell.
Toker recently relocated from Devonport to Cranbourne in Victoria but still flies in to ride at most Tasmanian meetings.
Radioactive was having his first start for Luttrell and, in keeping with the pattern of the night, came down the outside of the track to record a narrow win.
The trainer bought the gelding in partnership with trackwork rider Donna Hayes after seeing him advertised on an internet site.
But, for a long time, he wished he hadn’t.
“He’s a lovely looking horse but he’s got some issues – breathing problems, joint problems,” Luttrell said.
“I was nearly going to send him back and get my money back.
“But, you take a punt when you buy them online and I have had a bit of luck doing it.
“He’s the first one I’ve bought this bad.”
Luttrell has had Radioactive since mid-December and wasn’t expecting him to win first-up.
“I was just hoping he’d run a good race so we could either move forward or sack him,” the trainer said.
“Because he jumps out and puts himself there, he can probably win another one or two.”
SCOTT BRUNTON has similar hopes for Divine Denona, another ex-Victorian who, like Radioactive, raced down the outside rail to win at her second local start.
“Shea Eden sent her down after he’d stayed at Seven Mile Beach with (Bow Mistress winner) Ocean Embers,” Brunton said.
“He thought she’d be a perfect horse for down here and it’s worked out that way.
“She’s a bit one-paced but so are most of the horses in this class.
“She likes soft tracks so she’ll be suited here.”
Divine Denona’s jockey David Pires and Ismail Toker both rode doubles.