Funky Lady with Aidan Holt (left) in the saddle won the fifth at Ballina.
Funky Lady with Aidan Holt (left) in the saddle won the fifth at Ballina.

No stopping Holt on Funky Lady

BRISBANE teenager Aidan Holt registered the third win of his career at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting yesterday afternoon.

The 17-year-old apprentice showed plenty of determination to get four-year-old mare Funky Lady ($8) over the line in a Benchmark 60 (1900m) Handicap.

Holt has only been racing for six weeks and rode his first winning double at Warwick in February.

It was his third win from 18 starts and his first appearance at Ballina yesterday.

"I couldn't ask for a better start and I'm loving it so far," Holt said.

"It would be bloody brilliant to get another double.

"My uncle was a jockey and as far back as I can remember I followed him around to all the races."

Holt rides Funky Lady trackwork and was confident the mare would race well.

"I had the inside gate and wanted to lead," he said

"I let her slide at the 600m and just hoped for the best when I nursed her around the corner."

Trainer Steven O'Dea wasn't sure what to expect from the mare.

"She was probably a bit disappointing this preparation," O'Dea said. "It was a step down in class today and she got some weight off her back so it all helped.

"That was her first run at that distance and it's probably her go because she doesn't have a very good turn of foot.

"Aidan is my apprentice and I want to get him on the country circuit so we'll keep coming down this way for sure."

Holt will be in good company with apprentice jockeys Matthew McGuren and Kirk Matheson performing well in the Northern Rivers recently.

McGuren rode a winning double at Ballina yesterday.

He took out the Class 2 (1300m) Heat of the Rising Star on four-year-old Slipstreams ($3 favourite) and backed up with Power Receiver ($1.80 favourite) in a three-year-old Country Plate (1250).

"Slipstreams won well and in conditions he didn't really like so that was probably the better of the two wins," McGuren said.

"Doubles are great, especially when you have a couple of more rides to go.

"I'm originally from Grafton, so I'm pretty familiar with the track here.

"I found a good boss in Taree and now I'm riding anywhere between Canterbury and Eagle Farm."

The 21-year-old has two rides in Newcastle today.

I'm definitely looking forward to it and hope to go well," McGuren said.

"I've got two handy rides and they should both be in amongst the money so fingers crossed."

The next Northern Rivers race meeting is at Lismore on Monday, April 2.

UPDATE: Fire conditions ease after 'huge response'

UPDATE: Fire conditions ease after 'huge response'

2000ha bushfire at Ellangowan near Casino is still being controlled

PHOTOS: Dragon boats take over Ballina

premium_icon PHOTOS: Dragon boats take over Ballina

14 teams took advantage of the fantastic weather for major event

8 men, 5 trucks, 52 bales of hay: Helping out in 'war zone'

premium_icon 8 men, 5 trucks, 52 bales of hay: Helping out in 'war zone'

Northern Rivers councils help farmers in drought areas

Local Partners