Jockey Ben Looker has achieved his goal for 100 winners for the season but he is keen to keep building on his success as he heads to Murwillumbah. BEST BETS, INSIDE MAIL
Looker is currently one of only four jockeys in the state to have ridden 100 or more winners.
Aaron Bullock leads the way on 162 ½ ahead of McDonald on 114, Looker on 107 followed by apprentice Dylan Gibbons on 100 ½.
“To ride 100 winners was my goal at the start of the season so to get that was good,” Looker said.
“I am one of the country jockeys that doesn’t have a big stable supporting me which makes it a little bit harder so to ride a hundred winners (so) it has been a great season.”
The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!
Looker has a fabulous book of rides at Murwillumbah’s Sunday meeting to add to his tally.
Chief among his winning prospects is the Matthew Dunn-trained local Daedalus who lines-up in the Piper-Heidsieck Benchmark 58 Handicap (1550m).
A direct descendant of the champion sprinting mare Special, Daedalus has only managed two wins from his 26 starts but has racked up an honourable 11 placings.
“He raced well the other day,” Looker said.
“Kermantic was just too good for him but it is the right sort of race for him I feel. He has drawn nicely and he gets in with the same weight and he is going to get the right run so it looks a winnable race for him.
“Obviously he has been a bit frustrating of late with a lot of placings so hopefully he can a win on the board on Sunday.”
Looker, meanwhile, is reunited with the last start winner Bring Me To Life when he contests the White Claw Ladies Day Dash Class 1 Handicap (1100m).
A former Victorian housed gelding, Bring Me To Life turned in an underwhelming New South Wales debut on May 25 but turned it all around in quick time with an emphatic June 10 win at home at Grafton.
“Admittedly, it was only a SKY 2 field but he did win quite well and hopefully it gives him confidence,” said Looker.
“He is down in the weights and he has drawn a little bit tricky but if there are a few scratchings, it brings him in a couple and that will help him a lot
“It’s the right progression for him and Tony’s horses are racing really well at the moment.”
Looker starts the day aboard the in-form and consistent Lady Tulessa who is trained by Grafton’s grand master trainer, John Shelton.
“It’s good to ride winners for Johnny,” Looker said. “Obviously he was my boss as I started out and I have ridden over 100 winners for him which is great.
“I give Lady Tulessa a good chance on Sunday.”
Ditto, said Looker, for another Grafton visitor in Shadesofmidnight who is honing in on a well-earned first career win on Sunday.
SHAYNE O’CASS’ TOP SELECTIONS
Race 2 No. 2: TECTONIC PLATE
Sent out some very encouraging signs when a close and closing runner-up on debut at Ballina.
Race 6 No. 5: RENEWED IMPACT
A Kris Lees-trained filly third-up on Sunday off the back of two ‘improving’ runs to open the new prep.
Race 3 No. 6: DAEDALUS
Has tended to find one better more times than not but for once, he might be the ‘best horse’ in the race.
Race 4: 2, 3, 4, 6
Race 5: 1, 8, 10
Race 6: 5
Race 7: 3, 13, 16
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Ben Looker is enjoying a fabulous season with 107 wins and surely more to come on Sunday.
INSIDE MAIL – MURWILLUMBAH
Wedding Tent is trained by Brett Cavanough who is honing in on 1000 wins of which this daughter of Shooting To Win is one. Indeed, she has quite the tidy little resume at present, namely five starts for a win, two seconds and a third. Wedding Tent is second-up on Sunday off the back of a pretty respectable second at Ballina on June 12. Lady Tulessa has only won twice in 24 starts but she has been consistent the whole way through. The story of her current campaign is good first-up, better the next time. Where’s The Fire is infinitely better than last start’s effort.
Bet: Wedding Tent to win
Tectonic Plate is easy to like. The daughter of Supido (how well is he going) was $7.50 to $9.50 when she made her debut in a 1000m maiden at Ballina on June 12. The winner looked good but outside of him, there was no better run – by any measure – than from this filly. Logic would suggest that the extra 200m is going to be to her advantage. Al Ash Lad was the $1.40 favourite in the Tectonic Plate race. For the record, Al Ash Lad ran third. He has the home track advantage but he has been a costly commodity up until now.
Bet: Tectonic Plate to win, exacta 2 to beat 1
Daedalus has a pedigree that deserves at least a passing mention and that is his fifth dam is the aptly-named Special. Daedalus has only managed to win two of his 26 starts but he has placed 11 times. He is just a horse that has frequently one or two better on the day; his stablemate Kermantic a case in point. He is going to win again soon and he might have found the right race on Sunday. Shotgun Bobby is another infrequent winner with three from 30 but he is nothing short of mega-consistent. The ‘best’ Look A’Like is in the medals here.
Bet: Daedalus to win, quinella 5, 6
Hasten Delight is nominated for a Class 1 at Eagle Farm on Wednesday. The Peter Robl-trained son of Star Turn is well known to NSW punters given that his only two starts were down here. For the record, he won on debut at Gosford and was an honourable third at Wyong before the break. Trialled up well and has always had that little bit extra ability. A lot of what happens here depends on where Take The Kitty runs. He has a nasty draw here but a much better one on the last if he gets a run there. One word sums him up – flying!
Bet: Hasten Delight to win, quinella 2,3
Marleedoone is a Gold Coast-housed daughter of the former Queensland idol Falvelon. This Adam Campton-trained mare is winless after 13 starts but to her credit, she has placed at nine of them and five of those are seconds. Won a trial at Beaudesert on June 5 and has Kyle Wilson-Taylor on board. Enterprise Legend has what might turn out to be a winning draw. Barrier one is just a dream scenario for a horse whose prospects were already bright. Chilling Me Softly is a Matthew Dunn-trained in-form filly who should be prominent enough herself.
Bet: Marleedoone to win
Renewed Impact is an interesting filly. She was foaled in New Zealand and she has got a lot of stamina in her bloodlines, all the way back to her fourth dam Royal Regatta who was Bart Cummings’ first AJC Oaks winner. As for this filly, she was good first-up in a 1200m race behind the super smart Rapbidash then was better again over 1412m. It is 1550m on Sunday. Super Sweet has had the perfect build-up to 1550m having run over 1100m, 1300m and 1400m in the lead in. Just for who trains them; the Matthew Dunn duo More Elements and Written Fame have claims.
Bet: Renewed Impact to win
Take The Kitty might have already run, but I didn’t know which way he was going at time of writing. As mentioned earlier, he has a pretty sticky gate in his other potential mission and it is a good field too. Not that this race is below par but it does seem ‘easier’ and he had drawn a whole lot better. If he isn’t here, all roads lead to Bring Me To Life owing to her highly impressive win at Grafton with Ben Looker on board at what was only her second run for the always astute Tony Newing. Hard here but can keep progressing.
Bet: Take The Kitty to win or if scratched, Bring Me To Life to win