Jockey Belinda Hodder rode The Drake expertly at Coffs Harbour to win the COFFS HARBOUR TOYOTA DANIEL BAKER SHOWCASE SPRINT (1200 METRES) for trainer Jenny Graham on Thursday, August 6, 2020. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Jockey Belinda Hodder rode The Drake expertly at Coffs Harbour to win the COFFS HARBOUR TOYOTA DANIEL BAKER SHOWCASE SPRINT (1200 METRES) for trainer Jenny Graham on Thursday, August 6, 2020. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Hodder harnesses Fleur gelding to lead NRRRA premiership

BELINDA Hodder reclaimed the lead in the 2020/21 Northern Rivers Racing Association jockeys premiership when she powered Surf Sonic to a win at Lismore on Monday.

Hodder had been joined at the head of the table by Luke Rolls when he had kicked home Spirit Of Vain in the third race of the day.

However, Hodder hit back to secure her sixth win of the NRRA season with Fleur Blanch-trained Surf Sonic in the $22,000 Darien Gazzola’s Birthday Class 1 Handicap (1410m).

Hodder led on the Grafton gelding and rated him perfectly out front to beat Stephen Lee’s pair Runumuk and Sailing, into the minor placings.

While Hodder notched her sixth win in the NRRA this season, Grafton trainer Blanch notched her first with a horse she describes as a “real athlete”.

Fleur Blanch with Cool Water was set to run in the Benchmark 60 Handicap at Grafton on Monday, 15th of February, 2016P hoto Bill North / Daily Examiner
Fleur Blanch with Cool Water was set to run in the Benchmark 60 Handicap at Grafton on Monday, 15th of February, 2016P hoto Bill North / Daily Examiner

“He’s a much better horse back on top of the ground,” Blanch said of her talented four-year-old son of Nicconi.

“He didn’t handle the track (Heavy 8 at Coffs) last start and worked so well at home this week. He’s a real athlete. I enjoy training him, he loves the work, cops it.”

Casino trainer Leo Clapham claimed the final race of the day, the $22,000 Connect Business Solutions Benchmark 58 Handicap (1310m) with his seven-year-old gelding Crooked Gent.

The son of Toorak Toff posted his sixth career win at his 46th race start but had not won since successful at Murwillumbah in October last year.

It was his first win at Lismore in six starts and Leah Kilner’s second time on top. She had her first ride on him at Casino at his most recent start, finishing a fair third to Tobasco.

2020-21 NORTHERN RIVERS RACING ASSOCIATION PREMIERSHIPS

Unofficial and compiled by Geoff Newling after the Monday, August 24 Lismore meeting.

TRAINERS

4: Brett Bellamy.

3: Matt Dunn.

2: Leo Clapham, Brett Dodson, Warren Gavenlock.

JOCKEYS

6: Belinda Hodder.

5 Luke Rolls.

4: Ben Looker, Kirk Matheson.

3: Matt McGuren.

2: Aaron Bullock, Jon Grisedale, Tegan Harrison, Ray Spokes.

APPRENTICES

3: Kyle Wilson-Taylor.

1: Emily Atkinson, Dylan Gibbons, Leah Kilner, Qin Yong.



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