Ben Looker and Edward O’Rourke’s Simply Sacred hold off Maid Marilyn tow in the GRAFTON CUP DAY RACE 3: TAB MOTHER'S GIFT (1400 METRES)
Ben Looker and Edward O’Rourke’s Simply Sacred hold off Maid Marilyn tow in the GRAFTON CUP DAY RACE 3: TAB MOTHER'S GIFT (1400 METRES)

Looker hits Simply Sacred for six in Mother’s Gift

BEN Looker claimed his first win in Grafton Cup Day after a confident ride on heavy favourite Simply Sacred in the Tab Mother's Gift 1400m on Thursday.

The win is a good omen for Looker, who lifted the 2019 Grafton Cup on another sacred-themed runner in Sacred Day.

Coming in at the shortest odds for the July Carnival yet ($1.60), the four-year-old Edward O'Rourke-trained mare was made to work for the win as John Sprague's Maid Marilyn pushed her all the way to the line.

"It was good to get the job done. Ben was pretty cool with her but it seemed like she had plenty in the tank," O'Rourke said.

"I'll see what Ben says when he comes back."

The O'Rourke runner made up for an unfortunate last start at Grafton when she was disqualified on June 11.

O'Rourke hinted at big things ahead for the promising runner.

"She could be up for a Country Championship, we'll have to see how she fares," he said.

Cutting back from 59kg to 56kg, Looker made it look easy on the composed mare to win his sixth race for the July Carnival.

Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn had a good chance in Axella but is still searching for an elusive win after going close on a number of occasions during Ramornie Handicap Day.

O'Rourke will make a charge at the Iron Jack Grafton Cup later in the day as four-year-old gelding Nemingah ($21) goes from barrier 6 with jockey Mr Rachel King on board.



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