Apprentices clean up on Boxing Day

Photos clockwise from top left. Molly Bourke rode a double at Tumut (Trackpix Photography), Jai Williams rode a Ballina treble (Trackside Photography) and Georgina McDonnell won the Wauchope Woop Woop Cup and landed a winning double (Racing Photography).

With eight race meetings held across NSW country tracks on Boxing Day, there were a lot of opportunities for young jockeys.

These youngsters failed to dissapoint, and starting in the Mid North Coast, Georgina McDonnell won the Wauchope Woop Woop Cup aboard the Jeremy Sylvester-trained Harry and the Duke. 

The 1.5kg claiming apprentice did it easy on the $4.20 chance, winning by six lengths from fellow apprentices Shayleigh Ingelse on Classic Bright (Terry Evans) and Bailey Wheeler on Praeferox (Brett Dodson).

McDonnell also landed a winning double at Wauchope when guiding Candy Miss ($5) to victory for Luke Thomas in the 1240m Maiden Plate.

Northern Rivers jockey Jai Williams has continued a strong start to his burgeoning career, riding a treble at Ballina.

Williams kicked off his hat-trick of victories in the second event when winning the 1310m Maiden Plate aboard the Stephen Lee-trained Byron Eyes ($1.75).

In the third event, the four-kilogram claimer guided the Chris O’Reilly-trained Tim’s Lane ($3.80) to victory in the 1410m Class One Handicap. 

Rounding out a good day at Ballina’s Boxing Day meeting, Williams again teamed up with his master, Stephen Lee, when winning the fifth event, the 1410m Benchmark 58 Handicap on Toots is Tops ($5.50).

At Quirindi, apprentices won four races on the five-race-card, with two-kilogram claimer Maddy Owen scoring a hat-trick when winning the first three races. 

Owen combined with Jane Clement to win the 2000m Murrurundi Cup on House Wins ($2.20) in the opening event before winning the 1450m Benchmark 50 Handicap on despised outsider, It’s A Possibility ($13), for trainer Peter Bloomfield in the second event.

Owen sealed her treble in the third race on the card when aboard the Troy O’Neile-trained Capitulate ($4.40) in the 1450m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

Ben Osmond also won a race on the Quirindi program, with the four-kilogram claimer taking out the last event, the 1600m Maiden Plate on Barren Jack ($6) for George Woodward. 

At Tumut, apprentices dominated the five-race-program, winning every race on the card.

Molly Bourke landed an early double, winning on Fell’s Hero ($8) for Doug Gorrel in the 1000m Maiden Plate before the three-kilogram claiming hoop helped popular favourite Lennox Road ($2.40) to a comfortable win in the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap for Wagga trainer Russell Steiner. 

Jess Del Frari then teamed up with Melissa Harrison in the third and fourth events to record a race-to-race double. 

In the third event, Del Frari guided Moss Road ($6.50) to a come from behind victory in the 1400m Maiden Plate before the two-kilogram claiming apprentice won on If You Say So ($7) in the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

In the final event, local product Teighan Worsnop landed her first winner at Tumut, and subsequently outrode her four-kilogram claim when helping the Georgie Boucher-trained Gwennybeg to an emphatic victory in the 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

Worsnop took the mare forward and never looked like getting beat when winning by some 11 lengths to round out a bumper Tumut meeting that attracted some 1500 racegoers.

Further down south in the Southern Districts, Wagga apprentice Hannah Williams rode a double at Albury. 

In the third event, the 1175m Class One, Williams won easily on Royal Gun Salute ($3.60) for Andrew Dale before the two-kilogram claimer won on the Ben Brisbourne-trained Surekat ($2.80) in the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

Unfortunately, the Queanbeyan meeting was abandoned after two races, but apprentices were having a good day up until that point. 

Madison Waters (2kg claimer) won the first race, the 1200m Maiden Plate, on the Peter Korn-trained Laslett ($17).

Pruscino ($1.65) won the second event for 1.5kg claiming apprentice Damon Budler and trainer Joe Cleary when bounding in for a comfortable nine-length victory. 

At Wellington, Elissa Meredith flew the apprentice’s flag, winning the 1100m Class One Handicap on the Clint Lundholm-trained Angie Emm ($1.70).

It was a special victory for the two-kilogram claiming hoop, who helped bring up Lundholm’s 200th career winner as a trainer. 

To see results for each NSW country Boxing Day meeting, readers can click on the links below.