Grafton trainer, jockey moves up the ladder with wins in Ballina
GRAFTON trainers and jockeys were among the winners at Ballina Jockey Club yesterday, with John Shelton wasting no time joining the winner’s circle.
Shelton moved into third on the Northern Rivers Racing Association trainer’s premiership when debutante, Super Slick, won the opening race.
The three-year-old daughter of Super One gave nothing else a chance when she jumped from her wide alley (11) to lead all the way for Coffs Harbour apprentice Kyle Wilson-Taylor.
She had trialled without notice when beaten more than 10 lengths at Murwillumbah and started at big double figure odds but in the end gave Shelton his fifth winner of the NRRA season leaving him third behind Matt Dunn (10) and Brett Bellamy (8).
Grafton jockeys Ben Looker and Matt McGuren are locked in a tight battle for the NRRA jockey’s premiership. Looker increased his lead over McGuren first with a win on Matt Dunn-trained Joyful Miss in the second race, before nabbing another win in race seven with Windermere.
Joyful Miss was, like Super Slick, making her race debut for her Murwillumbah trainer Dunn and enjoyed her first career win when she claimed the XXXX Gold Maiden Plate (1000m).
A $30,000 purchase at the Magic Millions Joyful Miss looks to have a bright future, said Dunn’s stable foreman Toby McIntosh.
“It was a nice win,” McIntosh said.
“Should be plenty of improvement from that. It was a good win considering she’d only had the one trial.”
Windermere returned from a long lay-off in excellent fashion when the Murwillumbah mare, a five-year-old chestnut daughter of All Too Hard, came from a good position with a well-timed run by looker to win the $22,000 The Mission @Aquis Farm Benchmark 58 Handicap (1600m).
Windermere had been off the racing scene for more than 16 months but made light of that long spell to power home for a third career win in 10 starts.
Trained at Murwillumbah by Edward O’Rourke she showcased the obvious ability she has.
O’Rourke admitted to Sky Thoroughbred Central he doesn’t do anything special with her except walk her a lot.
“She had a bit of an issue last prep,” he said.
“Had 61 on her back too. She’ll get 2400m.”
The win was O’Rourke’s fifth this NRRA season and enabled him to join Grafton trainer John Shelton in equal third on the NRRA trainer’s premiership.
Ben Looker rode the mare and a winning double on the day took him three clear of Matt McGuren on the jockey’s premiership.
Fellow Grafton jockey Leah Kilner also among the winners when she piloted home Shy Boy in the Roofing Craftsman Maiden Handicap (1300m) ahead of Dwayne Schmidt’s Love a Diamond and Cathy Chapman’s Sweet William.
“He deserved that,” said Sky Thoroughbred Central’s Gary Kliese after Shy Boy, the four-year-old son of Testa Rossa, finally broke through.
“That’s his 20th start. He’s been there and just been nutted on the line. It was a great ride too by Leah (Kilner).”
Fellow Sky Thoroughbred Central commentator, Priscilla Looker, agreed.
“He just tries so hard.”
2020-21 NORTHERN RIVERS RACING ASSOCIATION PREMIERSHIPS
Unofficial and compiled by Geoff Newling after the Sunday, October 4 Ballina meeting.
10: Matt Dunn.
8: Brett Bellamy.
5: John Shelton, Edward O’Rourke.
4: Warren Gavenlock.
3: Daniel Bowen, Brett Dodson, Jim Jarvis, Stephen Lee.
2: Stephen Bennett, Cathy Chapman, Leo Clapham, Darren Graham, Joanne Hardy, Andrew
Parramore, Dwayne Schmidt, Paul Smith, Mark Stewart, Ross Stitt, Stephen Wise.
1: Paula Barron, Fleur Blanch, Coralie Burnett, Cathy Chapman, Neil Creighton, Toby and Trent Edmonds, Terry Evans, Shane Everson, Steve Field, David Fletcher, Allan Foran, Owen Glue, Jenny Graham, Tony Green, Donna Grisedale, Bruce Hill, Sam Kavanagh, Wayne Lawson, Stephen Lee, Kris Lees, Chris Manson, Craig Martin, Cody Morgan, Tony Newing, Graham Payne, Sharon Pepper, Marc Quinn, Barry Ratcliff, Jason Reilly, Andrew Sawden, Lisa Sheppard, Daniel & Rocky Simonetta, John Sprague, Sally Taylor, Chloe Thomas, Luke Thomas, Daniel Want.
15: Ben Looker.
12: Matt McGuren.
11: Luke Rolls.
9: Kirk Matheson.
8: Ray Spokes.
7: Belinda Hodder.
5: Stephen Traecey.
4: Jon Grisedale.
2: Aaron Bullock, Andrew Gibbons, Tegan Harrison, Noryuki Masuda.
1: Michael Cahill, Allan Chau, Jeff Kehoe, Brooke Stower, Jasen Watkins.
5: Leah Kilner, Kyle Wilson-Taylor.
3: Emily Atkinson.
2: Dylan Gibbons.
1: Zoe-Lee Cruickshank, Qin Yong.