Double lifts McNaught into title contention

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Defiantly emerges fro the pack for apprentice Jade McNaught to score victory in the BP Roadhouse Williams Handicap (1500m).
Camera IconDefiantly emerges fro the pack for apprentice Jade McNaught to score victory in the BP Roadhouse Williams Handicap (1500m). Credit: Cameron Newbold

Jade McNaught has stormed back into contention for the Great Southern Apprentice Premiership after booting home a double at Percy Spencer Racecourse on Friday.

After riding only two winners here in the Great Southern in limited appearances, McNaught trailed leader and local Shelby Colgate by four heading into the final four meetings of the season.

However, a winning double has leapt McNaught to four wins as she stalks Colgate in the standings heading into Sunday’s Easter meeting in Albany.

The mature-age apprentice guided Defiantly to a second career win in race 4, handing trainer Garry Delane his first winner of the season in the process. Defiantly bolted in over 1500m to break her maiden status in December, 2017 and a return to that same distance, only the third time racing over 1500m, proved the perfect tonic for the Demerit mare as she surged clear in the concluding stages.

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McNaught urged Defiantly through the centre of the track in the home straight to edge out Long Knife Brother by 0.8 lengths.

Wearing the Rising Star Series silks as the current leader, McNaught then delivered a bold front-running display on Copper Fury to win the Craig Fuller Heat & Cool Handicap (1000m).

Apprentice Jade McNaught brings back Defiantly.
Camera IconApprentice Jade McNaught brings back Defiantly.

Jumping well from gate 8, Copper Fury burnt to the front and led all the way as the pair kicked clear at the top of the home straight and left the rest of the field reeling.

Copper Fury powered to a commanding 2.5 length win over Wanna Be Good, which was an eye-catching run in second place in his WA debut for trainer Lindsey Smith. On the same card, Tranquilla Sunrise scored a third win in the Great Southern this season, the rejuvenated sprinter low-flying for Roy Rogers.

Hoop Daniel Staeck led all the way on the nine-year-old to claim the Aqua Ice Handicap (1230m) and make it three wins in his past four starts.

Staeck took his Great Southern tally to 21.5 wins after also saluting with pick-up ride Boxonlucy for Steve Wolfe earlier in the day.

Wolfe leads the Great Southern Trainers’ Premiership with 26 wins and is still being chased by Rogers on 23.5.

Meanwhile, star three-year-old Lordhelpmerun scored a dominant 1000m trial victory in the lead-up to his racing return for the Wolfe stable. Spelled after running 13th in the WA Guineas in November, Lordhelpmerun worked home strongly for Staeck to win by 2.4 lengths.

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