Riding at Orange on Tuesday, apprentice jockey Olivia Chambers scored her second Rising Star Series win of the 2023/24 season.
Chambers first tasted success at Gundagai on Snake Gully Cup Day, triumphing on the Darrell Burnet-trained You’re On Mute in the 1100m Class One Handicap.
While she has frequented the series as much as some of her rivals, she won again at Orange and put herself in the big picture with a good victory on the Dar Lunn-trained Elson Boy.
Despite jumping moderately from gate two, Chambers responded quickly, getting enough out of Elson Boy ($4.80), and they found the front with six furlongs left in the race.
Chambers then got her own way in the lead, and the Dubbo galloper travelled nicely and led for home.
Despite wanting to hang out a little on the Orange home straight, the 1.5kg claiming apprentice kept the four-year-old’s eye on the prize.
The pair won by almost a length and a half from the fast-finishing Bondadosa (Courtney Ferris, $31) from the Jason Clisby yard, while in third was the Matthew Dale-trained Merisi (Hannah Williams, $7.50).
Chambers was happy with the win, suggesting that the El Roca gelding is happy when running a field along.
“He was really good today,” Chambers said after the race.
“He led his last start when he won, and he seems to go better that way when having his own way in front.
“He did want to get out a bit, but I also did want to keep off that inside; everyone seemed to be coming down the middle.”
Lunn might have stumbled on a Western Racing Association Country Championships hopeful, with Elson Boy now having won three of his past four.
In March, the gelding won his maiden at Orange (1290m) ahead of a 35-week spell.
After resuming with a solid run at Narromine (1100m) in Class One company on December 5, he came out and won well at Dubbo, taking out the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap on December 23.
That form held up at Orange, where he only had to carry 55.5kg to victory in the 1410m Class Two Handicap.
“He goes alright, the little horse, and he’s still learning his trade,” Lunn said.
“You can see him running down the straight, and he was getting in and getting out, and I think he goes pretty good.”
Roper lands Rising Star Series win at Taree
On the same day as Orange, Taree’s Manning Valley Race Club hosted their heat of the Rising Star Series in the 1007m Class One Handicap.
Anna Roper took the 2023/24 Series lead and secured her second win of the season when guiding the Denim Wynen-trained Emphatic Bel ($10) to a close victory over the Brett Dodson-trained My Mum’s Toyboy (Zac Wadick, $1.75) while a length away in third was the Tony Ball-trained Grand Horizon (Mollie Fitzgerald, $8.50).
Roper was made to wait for the result, with Wadick lodging a protest against his fellow apprentice, which was eventually dismissed by Racing NSW stewards.
The next heat of the Rising Star Series heads to Queanbeyan on January 23.