Osmond leapfrogs McLucas in Rising Star Series

At the halfway mark of the 2023/24 Rising Star series, in-form apprentice Benjamin Osmond, who is now indentured to Kris Lees, has taken the lead from Mollie Fitzgerald and Amy McLucas heading into the New Year.

Racing at Kembla Grange on Thursday, Osmond and McLucas duked it out in the 1000m Benchmark 64 Handicap heat of the Rising Star Series.

The 2023/24 Rising Star Series top-10 following Thursday’s meeting at Kembla Grange.

Riding the Nathan Doyle-trained Hellova Nature ($2.60), Osmond finished strongly on the Newcastle galloper to win by a neck from the McLucas-ridden and David Pfeiffer-trained Beneficio ($3) in second the Rebecca Bronett-Prag-ridden and Matthew Smith-trained Zippy Zoo ($8.50).

Heading into Kembla Grange, the Taree-based Mollie Fitzgerald, who wasn’t riding, led the series on 13 points, but she has since been relegated to third position, with Osmond now leading on 17 points, just one ahead of McLucas on 16.
Oddly enough, Osmond and Fitzgerald dead-heated at Grafton back on November 8, with Dorset Coast (Matthew Dunn, Mollie Fitzgerald) and Velvet Haze (Kris Lees, Benjamin Osmond) unable to be split in the 1200m Benchmark 66 Handicap. 

The 2023/24 Rising Star Series returns at Muswellbrook on January 4 before the remaining seven heats are held at Orange (9/1), Taree (11/1), Queanbeyan (23/1), Goulburn (30/1), Royal Randwick (31/1), Dubbo (5/2) and finally, Taree (11/2).