New Apprentice Tyla Becker claims second ever career victory in first trip to the Great Southern

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Tyla Becker, centre, claims her second career win on Little Punga.
Camera IconTyla Becker, centre, claims her second career win on Little Punga. Credit: Laurie Benson

New apprentice Tyla Becker recorded her second win in the saddle at Albany Racing Club on Monday.

Becker had her first race ride on April 2 in Kalgoorlie and scored her first win aboard Super Ex in York three days later.

In just her 19th race, Becker saluted aboard the Mark Westthorp-trained Little Punga on the eight-race program on the Anzac Day long weekend.

Tyla Becker brings the Mark Westthorp-trained Little Punga back to scale.
Camera IconTyla Becker brings the Mark Westthorp-trained Little Punga back to scale. Credit: Laurie Benson

Little Punga jumped straight to the front for Becker in race six, the ARC Acknowledges All Veterans Handicap, and controlled proceedings, setting a fast tempo.

The eight-year-old gelding held off strong challenges in the final 150m from Sax On Que and favourite Loki to win by a half-length and hand Becker her first winner in the Great Southern.

A terrific ride from apprentice Jessica Gray guided Family Connection to victory over a fast-finishing Rebel Man in the Legacy Australia Handicap (1600m).

Gray settled the Angela Smith-trained galloper just off the pace before angling out around the heels of the leaders at the top of the straight and then held off Rebel Man by 0.6 lengths.

The Angela Smith-trained Family Connection wins the Legacy Australia Handicap (1600m) with Jessica Gray aboard.
Camera IconThe Angela Smith-trained Family Connection wins the Legacy Australia Handicap (1600m) with Jessica Gray aboard. Credit: Laurie Benson

Leading WA trainer Adam Durrant and champion jockey William Pike combined for a winning double in their trip south.

Soviet Spy was an impressive winner in the Iron Jack Maiden (1500m) racing first-up.

After settling towards the rear, Pike cut back to the inside in the straight and shot through to sprint clear and win in dominant fashion by 3.4 lengths.

The pair made it a double when hot $1.40 favourite Material Witness won the Light Horse Troop Handicap (1100m) after Pike produced another superb ride.

Material Witness broke his maiden status in Albany two starts back and settled midfield on Monday before Pike weaved his way through on the inside and raced past the leader Magnuson Man to win by 1.2 lengths.

Jessica Gray brings Family Connection back after her win.
Camera IconJessica Gray brings Family Connection back after her win. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany trainer Steve Wolfe had success with Copping Points saluting in race one paying $48.20 on tote for Ryan Hill while Kristella, from the Roy Rogers stable, took out the last event narrowly for apprentice Beaux Banovic-Edwards.

Banovic-Edwards was suspended for 12 days after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge on Kristella.

Mt Barker trainer Alan McNamara secured victory in race three with old timer Senso who charged down the outside to edge out One Short by a long head.

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