OVER THE LINE: Pietro Romeo rode Prince Raheeb to a win in the Vale Kevin Nipperess 3YO Maiden Plate (1610m) at the Ballina Jockey Club yesterday.
OVER THE LINE: Pietro Romeo rode Prince Raheeb to a win in the Vale Kevin Nipperess 3YO Maiden Plate (1610m) at the Ballina Jockey Club yesterday. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Soaked takes it out at Ballina

IT WAS no surprise to Ballina trainer Graeme Birney when Soaked ($4) took out a $15,000 Benchmark 60 (1610m) yesterday.

The seven-year-old gelding also completed a winning double for jockey Samantha Polo at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting yesterday.

Soaked finished half-a-length in front of Betterthanyouthink ($3.50) with Kid Tycoon ($10) a neck back in third.

It is the first time Soaked has won on the Northern Rivers with the horse a new addition to the Birney stable from Victoria.

"He has already been in some pretty good races," Birney said.

"He has come back a lot in class today and Samantha rode him perfectly.

"I was confident because he has been in some good Benchmark races in Melbourne."

Birney has five horses in work with five-year-old gelding After the Bounce nominated for the $25,000 Casino Cup on Saturday.

Soaked has had disappointing runs in Coffs Harbour and Ipswich before his win yesterday.

He had two wins and placed in his previous four races before arriving in Ballina.

"Once we got him acclimatised to place and used to the track he was always going to be a handy runner," Birney said.

"I've only had him for about six weeks and he was in full work when he came.

"We still had a few things to sort out with him but obviously that has worked."

Earlier, Polo rode Iconic Player ($7) to a win in the NBN Maiden Plate (1610m) for Ballina trainer Stephen Lee.

Ballina jockey Chris Wheatley won on Revelio in the Maiden Handicap.

Yesterday was the last meet for the club before the September 10 Ballina Cup.

After two years the Cup reverts back to Thursday after disappointing crowd numbers when it moved to Friday.

Lismore is also gearing up for its big day with the Lismore Cup on September 24.

It has another two TAB meetings beforehand, on August 24 and September 4.



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