Miss Sarah Jane takes out the $17,000 Casino RSM Beef Week Cup (1400m).
Miss Sarah Jane takes out the $17,000 Casino RSM Beef Week Cup (1400m). Northern Star

Mare's collect call

TRAINER Peter Sinclair slipped out to a Moree TAB to watch his mare Miss Sarah Jane win the $17,000 Casino RSM Beef Week Cup (1400m) yesterday.

Sinclair had to stay behind for his day job with Telstra as his two starters made the six-hour trip east to the Casino Racing Club.

But he managed to duck away from the boss long enough to see an expert ride from apprentice jockey Ben Looker get the five-year-old home by a neck.

Miss Sarah Jane ($8) won by a neck from the Bill Pholi-trained In Phuket ($3.50), with the Stephen Lee-trained Song Time ($6) a nose away third.

After getting caught in traffic, the mare slipped back to second last at the 600m mark.

But on a slow track, the field shifted wide on the home turn looking for better ground and Looker sneaked home on the rails.

"She was always travelling well in the race but coming into the corner she needed a run," Sinclair said.

"Fortunately they all fanned - everyone went looking for better running.

"He (Looker) stayed on the inside. That was probably what won the race: He saved ground on the inside.

"We wouldn't have won if he had to go around them."

The skill Looker showed led Sinclair to speculate that the apprentice was ripe for a move to the city.

"Unfortunately for the blokes over at Grafton, he'll end up leaving and going to the city full-time," he said.

"He's just biding his time until he gets a bit more experience."

For the win, the connections of Miss Sarah Jane collected $11,000, which is unlikely to spark a spending spree for Sinclair.

"That's pretty good going for us country folk," he said.

"I'll probably buy a carton of beer to celebrate."

Sinclair's other starter for the day, Bennyblaise, ran second last in the Rating 67 Handicap (1400m) behind Train Wreck.

Train Wreck was the second of a winning double for Lee and apprentice jockey Joshua Jones, who also combined for the first winner of the day, Seeking Harmony, in the Two-Year-Old Handicap (1000m).

Seeking Harmony won from two Shane Randall-trained horses, Character Building and Bianamust.

Former Ballina apprentice jockey Jamie Quinnell also claimed a double aboard two Brett Bellamy-trained gallopers, Triatys and Red Shiek.


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