Jockey Harry Coffey made a triumphant return to riding in the city when he piloted Ocean Beyond to take out the Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes at The Valley.

It was Coffey’s first ride in the city since February and he was thrilled he could return as a winner on the Daniel Bowman trained three-year-old colt in the 1200 metres race.

The 25 year-old Coffey, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, said he had been impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic and had to be cautious due to having this disease.

As a result he decided not to ride for three months in order to protect his health.

Coffey said the break on the family farm at Swan Hill was great for his health but also for his life in general.

“I’ve ridden constantly since I was 15 in a hectic industry. To have three months at home with the family, and now fiance, it was pretty good,” Coffey said.

“I’m back bigger and better than ever and I’m a happy man.”

Coffey said he realised when Bowman rang him up and said to come and work Ocean Beyond at Warrnambool that he must be above average.

Bowman said from Ocean Beyond’s first gallop he knew he had ability but he had to wait until he got his head right.

It was only Ocean Beyond’s second start and followed his debut victory at Geelong in a maiden.

Bowman said he didn’t usually jump his horses from maiden grade to a listed event but in this case it was a calculated move.

Bowman said Coffey gave Ocean Beyond a perfect run sitting him outside the leader Deep Speed.

“It’s great to see Harry get this opportunity. He is up to it when the chance comes,” Bowman said.

“I met Harry the same day I met my wife when he rode his first winner at Wycheproof a few years ago so it’s good to ride a listed winner for us,” he said.

Bowman bought Ocean Beyond on type from the New Zealand Ready To Run Sale despite not being impressive in his breeze up,

Bowman will give Ocean Beyond a break as he said he’s got a lot of developing to do.

It was Bowman’s eighth winner from 22 starts for November.

Ocean Beyond ($13) defeated Deep Speed ($4) by a half a length with Free Move ($10) three lengths away third.



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