Apprentices dominate at Warren

Shannen Llewellyn. Image: Racing Photography.

Apprentice jockey Siena Grima, who won her first race on the Ridge Wilson trained Jakat at Deepwater in January, produced an outstanding ride on outsider Flying Banjo to win the 1000m MVC Couriers Benchmark 50 Handicap for Tamworth trainer Stephen Dixon on Saturday at Warren.

D’Arpano looked likely to win when taking the lead from the other $2.80 equal favourite So Extra halfway down the home straight; however, Flying Banjo was finishing well from midfield.

Siena Grima drove Flying Banjo ($21) along the inside rail to win by a half neck from D’Arpano (Shannen Llewellyn), with So Extra over two lengths back in third place.

Apprenticed to Mel O’Gorman at Tamworth, Siena Grima has now ridden four winners during her relatively short career.

Another young rider achieving success is Shannen Llewellyn, apprenticed to Brett Robb at Dubbo. She has now ridden eight winners after a double on the Robb-trained Miss Italiana and Beaconsfield Joy at Warren.

Leading throughout, Miss Italiana ($2 favourite) crossed the line three lengths clear of Yachtie (Andrew Banks, $5) and Oojay Capow (Mitch Stapleford, $6) in the 1400 metres Gallagher Insurance Maiden Plate.

In the following race, the 1200m Warren IGA Maiden Plate, Beaconsfield Joy ($1.75 fav.) was headed at the top of the straight but fought back to beat Kiss The Outcast (Shayleigh Ingelse, $3.40) with The Hoff (Zoe Hunt, $10) finishing third.

On a day when apprentices shone, Zoe Hunt rode a good race to win the 1200m Macquarie Valley Rock And Sand Benchmark 50 Handicap on the Clint Lundholm, Dubbo-trained My Oddette.

Quickly away, My Oddette ($3.50) then took a nice position close to the lead and finished best to account for stablemate Bupkis (Wendy Peel, $15) and the leader Bijara (Shannen Llewellyn, $3.30 fav.).

Completing the apprentice’s bonanza at Warren, Emma Ly rode her 25th winner when taking out the 1400m Warren Services Club Benchmark 50 Handicap on the Maree Hopkins, Cowra-trained Mystic Flame.

Coming from fifth on the home turn in the big field, Mystic Flame ($4.60 equal favourite), in a three-way photo finish, beat the Clint Lundholm-trained stablemates Sin City Belle (Zoe Hunt, $8) and Hallowed Star (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $8).

Preventing a clean sweep by the apprentices, Jake Pracey-Holmes had won the opening race, the 1600m Gordon Welsh P/L Class 1 & Maiden Plate on the Peter Sinclair, Moree-trained A Bit Bazarre ($9), which led all the way to score by over two lengths from Paziah (Andrew Banks, $5.50) and Another Gift (Kelsey Lenton, $5.50).

Racing in the central and western region continues on ANZAC Day at Bathurst and Nyngan, followed by Tomingley Picnics on Saturday and Narromine on Sunday.