Popular jockey Jamie Mott toasted a well-deserved step in his career on Saturday at Caulfield, on his first Group 1 winner.
Mott, 34, who overcame weight issues through a meticulous, career-defining fitness regimen and a plant-based diet, took victory aboard the call sign Mav at $16 in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at $1 million.
I Am Superman took second place in their Australian swan song, while brave Tuvalu held on to third place despite all the donkey work behind leader Buffalo River at the start of the 1400m event.
Mott, who subscribes to Wim Hof’s breathing and meditation methods, including a 15-minute ice bath every morning in a chest freezer in the garage, knew he was on the right horse in the Rupert Clarke.
“I always knew this (Group 1 success) was coming,” Mott said.
“I’m someone who works hard and always believes in what you do.
“Giving up is not an option.
“I’ve put myself in a good position in terms of weight and spirit this campaign and I’m grateful to Danny (O’Brien) and the wonderful connections for keeping me on Callsign Mav.
“They deserve it… he’s a three-time New Zealand Group 1 winner… he got the right conditions today and he was really tough when I needed him.”
The stewards downgraded the track from Soft 6 to Heavy 8 midway through the meeting.
Further deterioration led to a Heavy 9 rating ahead of the Rupert Clarke.
Whatever the conditions, Mott, who rode perfectly for O’Brien as an apprentice, knew he was on the right horse to win on Saturday.
“I tried to break into the Group 1 category for a while,” Mott said.
“I was convinced that this horse would definitely have a shot in the top three and hoped he could do the job.”
Call sign Mav joined O’Brien’s yard last year after racing in the Cox Plate.
“He’s just such a gifted rider (Mott) who’s worked so hard for so long with his weight,” O’Brien said.
“If Jamie weighed four or five kilos less, he would be one of the three best Metropolitan jockeys.
“He rides as well as anyone and he’s going to be a very popular winner here today.
“There are so many people who have so much admiration for Jamie.”
Mott rode 22 Victorian winners, including four in Melbourne, to lead the state premiership in the first seven weeks of the season.
He attributed his fitness and diet to his success in the saddle.
“I do 56kg comfortably on a Saturday and Wednesday and 57kg everyday no problem, really easy,” Mott said.
“Before it was difficult, the way I did things, sometimes you just had to change your habits… I’m training a lot harder, I’ll be in better shape than most of these horses here today.
“If I have to lose weight because I’m so fit, it doesn’t affect me…I’m on a plant-based diet.”
Iceman Mott also spends 15 minutes each morning submerged in a chest freezer doing breathing and mindfulness exercises.
“It’s been a bit of a challenge this winter for sure, I let the temperature go up a few degrees but every day I love it,” said the brand new Group 1 jockey.
“I’m going diving (Sunday).”
Originally published as Jamie Mott takes first Group 1 win as callsign Mav heads home in Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes