Apprentice kelsey Lenton snares Maiden Cup Victory

There's very few jockeys in Australia who can boast a Cup victory within the first six months of their career.

But, that is what teenager Kelsey Lenton did at Home Hill on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Lenton started her riding career only three months ago and rode like a "veteran"  to success on Lets Torque A Deel in the $15,000 Burdekin Cup over 1830 metres.

Lenton Snares, who is indentured to Townsville trainer Georgie Holt, took off from the 800 metre mark to boot the second favourite to a three length break on the field and held on to win by a long head, from Necessitas with the well-fancied Conquering Judas three and a half lengths away in third place.

Winning trainerJohn Manzelmann was full of praise for the youngster's ride.

"I knew she had a good head on her shoulders and carried out instructions to the letter," the experienced Mackay-based trainer said. 

"We thought we had a good chance on his last-start second over 1800 metres at Mackay 10 days ago and he'd worked well since.

"He's a bit of a quirky Dundeel five-year-old gelding and only a 53 rater in a Benchmark 70 but there you go.

"We'll start looking at the upcoming Mackay Amateurs and winter carnival races with him now and he might even measure up to the longer events later on."

Lets Torque A Deel was the second leg of Lenton's first career double, having won earlier on the Michael Whitehouse-trained Explosive Girl, who led throughout in the Class B Handicap over 1000 metres. 

Ammoudi Bay gave Mackay trainer Olivia Cairns another opportunity to win her second Battle Of The Bush at Eagle Farm in June when Scott Sheargold steered him to victory in the qualifier over 1180 metres.

The Starcraft six-year-old gelding has the chance to follow in the hoof beats of Mason's Chance, who won the Final two years ago.

He started favourite on Saturday after a good fourth in the Rockhampton Fitzroy Quality behind Stradbroke hopeful Sir Warwick on May 7.

Ammoudi Bay looked in a spot of bother at the 300 metre mark when he was pocketed on the rails but Sheargold was able to gain a clear run on straightening and he finished too well for Mishani Rebel. 

Sheargold completed a winning double for Cairns, having won the first race, the QTIS Maiden Plate 1460 metres on Grey Zone.

A near-record crowd attended the meeting, highlighted by Fashions On The Field and other attractions including an after-races concert.

President Ricky Gudge and secretary wife Leeane were delighted with the success and generosity of district fruit and vegetable growers who donated 16 tonnes for free distribution to racegoers.


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