EASY WINNER: Lookalani, ridden by Jamie Quinnell, wins the Billinudgel Cup at the Ballina races yesterday. Quinnell rode two wi
EASY WINNER: Lookalani, ridden by Jamie Quinnell, wins the Billinudgel Cup at the Ballina races yesterday. Quinnell rode two wi

Coleman escapes injury at Ballina

By Adam Hicks

JOCKEY Darren Coleman escaped a race fall uninjured yesterday during the $7000 Coastal Boat and Trailer Repairs Rating 65 Handicap (1300m) at the Ballina races.

Coleman was thrown from $13 chance St Martin’s Lane as it approached the 200m mark during the sixth race.

Coleman received no serious injury but did not ride in the final race of the day and stewards launched an inquiry into the fall.

In Phuket ($5) went on the win the race by a length from Far Encounter ($9) with River Street a further length back in third.

Earlier in the day apprentice jockey Jamie Quinnell, formerly of Ballina, claimed a double with a one-and-three-quarter-length win aboard $2.50 favourite Look-alani in the $10,000 Matt Kidson Billinudgel Cup.

Coleman jumped the fastest aboard Sun and Sand ($4) and led for most of the race with Quinnell a length back in second.

But rounding the home turn, Quinnell drew level and Lookalani found plenty in the straight to score a convincing win ahead of Sun and Sand in second.

“I always had him covered,” Quinnell said.

“I was lucky he led me along, I didn’t have to do all the hard yards.

“He (Lookalani) did his job, he’s just a class above the rest.”

Lorna Cook put in a strong race to pilot $31 long-shot One-stepcloser into third.

Lookalani was Grafton trainer Noel Williams’ only runner for the day.

Williams said the seven-year-old gelding was continuing to impress with two wins and two places in four starts back from a one-year spell.

“He’s an honest horse who always puts in. I’m very happy,” he said.

“In previous preparations he’s settled further back, but this time he’s always been on the pace. It doesn’t matter where he settles, he’ll still kick.”

Quinnell, who is on loan to the Brett Bellamy stable from his father, Phil Quinnell, said he was enjoying a reversal in his own form.

“I wasn’t doing too well before and needed a bigger stable with more rides,” he said.

“I’ve improved out of sight.”

Before the race a spokesman paid tribute to Matt Kidson, a popular Billinudgel identity who died in a car accident earlier this month, saying he was a happy kid who loved sport and people.

Following the post-race presentation, Ballina Jockey Club chairman Garry Kliese announced his retirement from the position.

Quinnell also scored a win aboard $1.90 favourite Seraroyale in The Billinudgel Hotel Handicap (1300m).



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