FOR DAD: Jorja Crompton and her mum Jackie with the Ken Dowling Cup, named in memory of Jackie's late father.
FOR DAD: Jorja Crompton and her mum Jackie with the Ken Dowling Cup, named in memory of Jackie's late father. Meg Gannon

Trainer honours late father with win at Western Downs races

RACING: Following in her father's footsteps by becoming a horse trainer, Jackie Crompton couldn't help but feel "pretty emotional" after her seven-year-old gelding Ritchford won the Western Downs Regional Council/Ken Dowling Memorial Cup 1400m event.

It was the race named in memory of her father who died in May.

The gelding won race four by close to five lengths, thanks to a stellar ride from jockey Cecily Eaton.

With the second highest starting price, sitting on $9 before the race against favourite Splitz's $3.20, Ritchford may not have been the favourite, but the gelding took out the race for the third time in his racing career, but only his first time under the traineeship of Crompton.

Crompton said Ritchford was bought just six weeks ago with Tara Cup in mind.

"That was only his second start for us," she said.

"We bought him specifically to have a starter in the race, and Cecily has ridden for us before.

"It's the first time she's ridden that horse, but she's ridden other horses for us.

"She had a special link to dad because she rode dad's horses as well."

Crompton and Eaton beat second-placed Splitz trained by Dalby trainer Matt Kropp, and The Irons trained by Jason Gregory.

"I was just hoping that he would race well because we had so many family here today," Crompton said.

"It's nice when they can race well while they're here, but to win it, I just couldn't believe it."

Crompton's only other starter Avasa, ridden by Michael Schrapel, placed fifth in race two, the Brandon & Associated Benchmark 60 Handicap 1000m.

Crompton said she would be celebrating in a similar way to how her dad used to after a big win, with a drink and quality time with family and friends.

"Dad was a man of very few words," she said.

"He'd probably be getting around with a big grin on his face and probably heading to the bar to celebrate.

"He'd just put his arm around me and not say too much at all but that was just dad."

Ritchford has now qualified for the Country Cups Challenge in November.