WEEKEND RACING WRAP: Looker dominates up north, Simpson rides Warren double

Ben Looker rode five winners across a busy weekend of racing at Lismore and Port Macquarie.

It was another big weekend of NSW Country and Picnic Racing on Saturday and Sunday, with meetings held at Grenfell, Lismore, and Warren on Saturday and Gundagai and Port Macquarie on Sunday.

Up north, Ben Looker stole the show, with the popular jockey edging closer to 100 winners for the season when riding five across two days. 

On the Northern Rivers, the 32-year-old booted home a treble at Lismore, winning on the Allan Chau-trained pair of A Level ($13) in the 1010m Maiden Plate and Amphawa ($1.65) in the 1525m Class One Handicap, while helping the Annabel Neasham-trained Jaameelati ($2.35) to victory in the 1210m Maiden Plate. 

On Sunday, Looker was on the Mid-North Coast, riding at Port Macquarie, and he teamed up with the Allan Kehoe-trained Mrs Ed ($10) to win the 1000m Benchmark 58 Handicap and the Matthew Robinson-trained Uncertain Terms ($1.40) when taking out the 1000m Maiden Plate.

Looker has now ridden 92 winners this season and sits third on the NSW’s jockey’s premiership, trailing Aaron Bullock (116 ½) and James McDonald (101).

He has every chance of adding to that total with a solid book of rides at Grafton on Tuesday. 

In the Western Racing Association on Saturday, Warren hosted their Golden Fleece race meeting, and two-kilogram claiming apprentice Ronald Simpson booted home a double. 

Simpson, who only recently joined the Clint Lundholm team, won for his boss when guiding Cherry Blue ($1.90) to victory in the 1600m Class One Handicap.

Simpson teamed up with another Dubbo trainer in Dar Lunn when winning on the Gretzky ($3.80) in the 1200m Class Three Handicap. 

The Stanley family also enjoyed success at Warren

Ashleigh won on the Kylie Kennedy-trained Fiveash ($15) in the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap, while William won on the Wayne Collison-trained Luckyimwithaimee ($13) in the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

The Central Districts hosted Saturday’s picnic meeting at Grenfell, and Bathurst trainer Dean Mirfin and Leeton jockey Breanna Bourke combined to win the Grenfell Picnic Cup (1400m) with Our Blue Moon ($5). 

It was Bourke’s second cup success in as many weeks after her win on Easter Sunday on the Rodney Robb-trained All Words in the Bourke Picnic Cup. 

Leading picnic hoop Leandro Ribeiro extended his lead on the NSW picnic jockey’s premiers, booting home yet another treble when winning on the Connie Greig-trained Billy Bent Ear ($2) in the 1000m Picnic Trophy, the Joe Cleary-trained Vigoureux ($5) in the 2000m Class One Trophy, and the Lauren Davies-trained Rock ‘N’ Tori ($3.60) in the 1400m Class B Handicap.

Ribeiro has now ridden 30 winners this season at a remarkable strike rate of 44.1%. He sits 12 wins ahead of Ricky Blewitt (18 at 29%), and in third is Breanna Bourke (8 at 21.1%).

At Gundagai on Sunday, it was a big day of Southern Districts racing.

Wagga trainer Maddy Collins scored the biggest win of her career, with her partner Josh Richards guiding The Doctor’s Son ($10) to victory in the $36,000 Gundagai Cup (1700m).

The Doctor’s Son is now ballot exempt for next month’s $200,000 Wagga Gold Cup.

It was also terrific to see Wagga trainer Doug Gorrel bring up his 100th career winner with apprentice Molly Bourke guiding Asgarda ($2.25) to a dominant five-lengths win in the 1180m Maiden Handicap.

Unfortunately, the meeting scheduled at Holbrook on Saturday was abandoned following 40mm of rain in the seven days prior. 

Still, the sun shined down on Holbrook, who hosted a big phantom meeting, with the local community coming out to support the club. 

This week, Scone race Monday, Grafton and Nowra on Tuesday, Narromine on Thursday, and Tamworth and Canberra on Friday.

On another big weekend, Grafton, Leeton, and Merriwa race Saturday, and Port Macquarie and Wagga on Sunday.

Warren’s results, click here

Lismore’s results, click here

Grenfell’s results, click here.

For Gundagai’s results, click here

For Port Macquarie’s results, click here.