Hawkesbury Trainer On The Rise

Hawkesbury’s Mitch Kearney is a young trainer on the rise.

Hawkesbury Trainer On The Rise

Hawkesbury’s Mitch Kearney is a young trainer on the rise.

Kearney won his seventh race this year and maintained an excellent strike rate when he scored with aptly-named Red Centre Ruby at Muswellbrook on Friday.

The four-year-old mare, who began her career in the Northern Territory at Alice Springs, shed her maiden status and then had to withstand a protest.

In a tense finish, Red Centre Ruby nosed out fellow Hawkesbury trainer Peter Green’s Quite Unexpected in the 1450m Maiden Plate.

Red Centre Ruby debuted when eighth in an Alice Springs maiden in March last year when prepared by Russell Bell, now based in Victoria.

Bell trains the smart sprinter Sirbible, and has previously stayed with Kearney at Hawkesbury when campaigning with that horse in Sydney, hence an arrangement being finalised to lease Red Centre Ruby.

She had her first start for Kearney when fifth in an 1150m maiden at Cessnock in July last year.

Kearney has won earlier races this year with Final Trick (Cessnock, Bathurst and Goulburn), Lily’s Little Girl (Hawkesbury) and promising stayer Eerised (Bathurst and Hawkesbury).

APPRENTICE Ashleigh Borg had a miraculous escape at Hawkesbury on Sunday before showing she is made of the right stuff by bouncing back to post her first win of the year.

The young rider produced a perfect display to win on her master Garry White’s filly Lady Chalfont but literally climbed back off the canvas to do so.

Borg somehow stayed aboard when stablemate Dunatun went within a whisker of crashing when leading at the 1000m in an earlier race over 1300m.

Dunatun blundered badly then slipped, and could easily have brought down other runners. Thankfully, horse and rider regained their balance and continued on before understandably fading to finish second last.

The incident resulted in stewards, jockeys and Hawkesbury Race Club officials inspecting the track.

After remedial work was done, the meeting proceeded on a Heavy 10 surface without further drama.

White was full of praise for his apprentice after she scored on Duporth filly Lady Chalfont.

“Ashleigh rode a terrific race; I couldn’t be happier,” White said. “I’ve been a bit protective of her because of her size, but she works hard and deserves her chances.”

Borg won two races for White on Sonata Song last year at Hawkesbury and her 4kg claim proved decisive on Lady Chalfont on the heavy surface.

“I knew she would cope; she won two trials on heavy tracks,” White said.

Borg was thrilled to be back in the winning list.

“I ride Lady Chalfont every day, and she is a delight to deal with,” she said. “I almost had a stack earlier, so it was a good way to redeem myself.”

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