RISING southern districts apprentice Lester Grace left his mark on the Broadmeadow race track today riding a hat-trick of winners.
The 17-year-old hoop won the Canberra Apprentices Premiership earlier this year and today’s performance pushed Lester to first in the Newcastle jockeys premiership with six wins.
In race three, the maiden plate over 900 metres, Grace rode the Mick Hood-trained L’uccello Rosso to victory over favourite Cara de Luna by three-and-a-half lengths.
That was followed by a victory in the 1200m class two handicap on $2.30 favourite Watt Luck, giving the four-year-old its third win of its career and first since July 2011.
Lester then rode Kiwi four-year-old Cloud Valley past favourite Binalong Road by half a head to win the benchmark 67 handicap over 1850m to complete the hat-trick.
A poor ride in the class one handicap over 1500m tarnished Lester’s perfect spring afternoon at Broadmeadow when favourite Bando finished sixth.
The race was won by Ferment, owned by Nathan Tinkler’s financially stricken Patinack Farm.
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’s gelding Immortal Glory failed to meet his expectations by finishing fourth in the benchmark 60 handicap.
Lees predicted yesterday that the Gallant Guru progeny would excel over the 1850m distance, after winning his maiden over 2300m at Newcastle in May.
Newcastle and Districts Trainers Association chairman and trainer Peter Eggleston had a victory in the opening race, the maiden plate over 2300m, when five-year-old Southern Copy backed up pre-race favouritism to beat Lay Down The Law by a length.
Three-year-old gelding Hunter Lad won the 900m maiden plate with an outside price of $31 and six-year-old mare Beauticanhurri won her first race in a year by taking out the benchmark 60 handicap over 1200m.
The maiden handicap of 1400m was won by the favourite Mighty Lucky.