IT was a Sue double before Gavin Groth and Rod Northam also doubled up at Riverside yesterday.
Apprentice Sue Bigg snared the first leg of the “Sue” double when she led and won with hotpot Steel Academy for Gunnedah trainer Gavin Groth and then Tamworth trainer Sue Grills notched the second leg when Manor Girl, also a short-priced 6-4 favourite, led all the way to win the Habate’s Paints Gunnedah Maiden (1300m).
They were similar wins, with female apprentices rating their charges perfectly.
Steel Academy won by seven and three quarter lengths in 1min 15.88secs while Manor Girl won by two and a quarter lengths in 1min 17.72secs.
It became an even better day for Bigg when she replicated Steel Academy’s run to win on tearaway leader Steel Fixer later in the day.
It also notched a winning double for Groth and also took him to nine wins for the season and outright seventh on the Hunter and North West Racing Association trainer’s’ premiership.
“Yeah, it’s been a good day,” Groth said yesterday.
“I thought I might have got a treble too but just missed (Mt Annan ran second to The Hum in the last).
“But I can’t complain.
“Steel Academy and Steel Fixer both won well.”
He said leading was always the plan with Steel Fixer but not so with Steel Academy.
“He had been leading but not finishing off so we were thinking about giving him a suck run in behind.
“But after the 2YO, Sue came back and said she was on a backmarker and couldn’t make any ground.
“So we decided to ride more forward.”
Once Steel Academy saw the open spaces early, he charged to the front and Bigg was able to rate the three-year-old son of Royal Academy perfectly.
“He’s a classy little horse,” Groth said.
“He’s been racing a bit greenly too.
“Mt Annan ran a good race too.
“He had won his maiden and was up in class.”
Scone-based Northam then joined Groth on nine wins for the HNWRA season when he won the final two races of the day with Runs Deep and The Hum.
Robert Thompson rode both, enabling him to reclaim the outright lead in the HNWRA jockeys’ premiership from Scone apprentice Courtney van der Werf.
They were the 29th and 30th winners of the HNWRA season for Thompson.
Buttons also made a great debut for Scone trainer Paul Messara, running away with the Keith Swan Memorial 2YO while James Thompson won the Sutton Family Somerton Cup (2050m) with 12-year-old marvel Star Of Universe.