Baker’s delight at Cooma 

Gold Coast-based apprentice Jack Baker was all smiles after winning his first race on the Tim Martin-trained Sunshine Reggae at Cooma.

It was a full circle moment at Cooma on Saturday as 19-year-old apprentice jockey Jack Baker scored the first winner of his career.

NSW Country and Picnic Racing first reported that Baker was set to trek to Cooma on Saturday, with the Gold Coast-based hoop visiting his partner’s family in Canberra.

After wrangling two rides for the Cooma meeting, he teamed up with family friends Joe Cleary and Tim Martin, bringing up his first career win at only his second meeting. 

Baker did have to wait until the last race, but the wait was worth it, and he rode the Martin-trained Sunshine Reggae ($2.40) in the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

Racing on a heavy nine, the four-year-old mare strived in the conditions, with the pair winning by two-and-a-half lengths. 

It was a memorable win for all involved, with Jack’s father Garry, a former jockey, who some 30 years ago, rode the first winner of Martin’s training career.

The result capped off a big day, as Cooma Monaro Race Club did well to race on Saturday.

The region was very wet in the days leading up to and including the once-a-year meeting. 

Still, a good crowd was in attendance for the meeting, and a popular winner was the Barbara Joseph, Paul and Matt Jones-trained Nieces and Nephews, which went back-to-back when claiming the $20,000 Cooma Cup (1600m). 

Starting the $6 chance, the Canberra galloper won by a length when defeating local hopes Port Douglas (Ellen Hennessy, $4) and Super View (Michael Heagney, $7,.50), which finished second and third, respectively, for Cooma product and Canberra trainer, Matthew Kelley.

The 30th running of the $20,000 Sundowners Cup (1400m), which caters for the maidens, saw Johnny Rolfe celebrate a good win with Danjel (Pierre Boudvillain), which dominated his rivals to win by eight lengths.

Sarah McDonough outrode her four-kilogram claim when teaming up with her uncle, Steve Cunningham, riding Miss Brondolino ($4) to a good win two-length in the 1000m Benchmark 45 Handicap.

The result capped off two good trips into NSW for the Victorians, who also won with the five-year-old at Adaminaby last month.

Three-kilogram claimer Teaghan Martin took top honours when riding a winning-double. 

Martin started the program with a nearly six-length win on the Garry Kirkup-trained Star Stroke ($2.70) in the 1000m Maiden Plate. 

Bringing up her double was a close win on the John Nisbet-trained Coupla Days, $3.80), which won the 1400m Benchmark 45 Handicap.