THREE CHEERS: Strawberry Champane, ridden by Peter Graham and trained by Stephen Bennett, won the $15, 000 Benchmark 63 Handicap at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting yesterday.
THREE CHEERS: Strawberry Champane, ridden by Peter Graham and trained by Stephen Bennett, won the $15, 000 Benchmark 63 Handicap at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting yesterday. Cathy Adams

Wins keep mounting for Raymond and Rapidus

JOCKEY Raymond Spokes continued his winning combination with six-year-old gelding Rapidus at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting yesterday.

Spokes has now won four consecutive races since May 17 on the horse led by Taree trainer Bindi Cheers.

Rapidus ($4.80) took out the $15, 000 Murwillumbah Cup Preview (1900m).

It finished a short-head in front of the Sharon Pepper-trained Bingo Bobby ($8) with Kingston Time ($5) another short-head back.

"He's a lovely horse and does everything you ask of him," Spokes said.

"That's why he's winning races.

"It's been a good association with him for me."

Rapidus won at Taree over 1600m before a winning double at Grafton.

It took out Benchmark 65 events on May 22 (2365m) and June 2 (2225m).

"He finds that extra bit and he doesn't waste energy," Spokes said.

"He's got fresh legs and finishes it off best."

The Stephen Lee-trained Anton En Avant ($1.90) finished fourth.

It won over 1600m at Ballina on May 15 with Lee eyeing off the Grafton Cup for the five-year-old.

The Murwillumbah Cup will run at the Tweed River Jockey Club on June 21.

In other races, Casino trainer Stephen Bennett had a win with Strawberry Champane ($7).

The five-year-old mare won the $15, 000 Benchmark 63 Handicap (1250m).

Local trainers Stephen Bennett and Steven Phelps also had wins in maiden handicaps.

Racing returns to the Northern Rivers with a TAB meeting at the Casino Racing Club on June 23.

The July carnival at Grafton starts July 2 with the Grafton Cup on July 9.



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