Apprentices rule at Inverell and Quirindi

APPRENTICES Courtney van der Werf and Sairyn Fawke dominated racing results at Quirindi and Inverell yesterday when they booted home five winners, including the feature Goodwood and Murrurundi Cups, between them.

At Quirindi,  van der Werf’s third successive win of the day  won her a Cactus Wilson Memorial Class 1 Handicap (1100m) for Muswellbrook owner/trainer Anita Rossiter yesterday after winning the Murrurundi Cup aboard Flash Attack and then the Howard’s Coaches Class 1 Handicap with Groover Girl.

The Kiwi apprentice, who has created such a huge impression in the few short months she’s been based with Greg Bennett at Scone, had the easiest rides to notch her hat-trick yesterday.

“He’s a lovely horse –  I didn’t have to do much,” van der Werf said.

“I’m having a pretty good day.”

Rossiter and her partner, Steve Wilkinson, own the five-year-old gelding son of Markane.

“We bought him 12 months old,”  Rossiter said.

“We got him as a cheapie when a trainer up the coast had to sell because he had no stables. 

“We broke him in and did everything with him. 

“Teresa Nikora rides him in all his work and has done a wonderful job too. 

“It’s a big thrill.”

Wilkinson echoed that thrill before heading to the committee room with the Cactus Wilson Memorial trophy and a celebratory drink with Matty Wilson, son of the late Cactus, and the Wilson family.

At Inverell, coastal apprentice Fawke won the final two races of the day, the 4kg claimer winning the $8000 Thomas New England Estate Wines Goodwood Cup Benchmark 60 handicap (1200m) with 10-1 shot Sir Rossa for Gunnedah trainer Joe Craig and the final race of the meeting with Peter Blanch’s 9-1 chance Silvan Prince.

Craig could not be happier with both the ride and his seven-year-old gelding’s fourth career win in the $8000 feature race.

“His manager rang me the other day and asked for the ride,”  Craig said yesterday.

“He just runs for the kids.

“He’s an easy horse to ride but he can’t be bashed and can’t be told what to do. 

“You’ve got to let him do it it himself, let him put himself where he wants to be. 

“That’s why he goes good for the kids.

“But he is a pretty handy little horse. 

“A good little horse for the smaller meetings, the non-Tabbers. 

“And he loves the mud. 

“He won the Wee Waa Cup in a bog hole at Narrabri.”

While Sir Rossa won yesterday’s Goodwood Cup at Inverell, he won’t return there for next Tuesday’s $30,000 Inverell Cup.

“He’s not up to that class,”  Craig said.

“I would have liked to have got him earlier. 

“But he had some problems when I got him. That’s why he was cheap.”

He said Sir Rossa “pulled up a bit sore” after running 12th of 13 at Gunnedah on October 13 so he freshened him up for him to run a fair fourth to The Tapdancer at Tamworth on November 6 before yesterday’s Goodwood triumph.

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