Pateman takes title, Hunter and Bell tie in apprentice

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Leading rider Mitchell Pateman claimed his second Great Southern Jockeys’ Premiership after finishing his fruitful season with 20 victories, the last of those coming at Thursday’s final meeting of the season in Albany.

Pateman shared the jockeys’ title with Shaun McGruddy last season, the pair riding 15 winners each, but the 21-year-old Albany-based hoop dominated the local ranks to finish a clear victor this year.

He partnered four-year-old mare Lovejoy to victory in the Six Degrees Maiden (1240m), taking his season tally to 20 wins, defeating McGruddy (14 wins), Peter Hall (11) and Glenn Smith (11) in the final standings — that trio all tasting success on the final eight-race card last week.

Smith rode a double aboard hot favourite Marega in race one and then consistent stayer Striking Star, who cruised to victory in the final race on the card.

McGruddy guided Captivated Point to victory and Hall partnered Tiger Pete to a 13th career win.

Lovejoy was part of a winning double for Albany trainer Garry Delane, ending a frustrating season in the Great Southern.

Delane’s second triumph came in the Albany Hotel Handicap (1612m) when consistent six-year-old Gibraltar Rock was urged to the line by apprentice jockey Fiona Bell to down Mica Lil by a long head.

Great Southern leading apprentice Casey Hunter, who tied with Fiona Bell.
Camera IconGreat Southern leading apprentice Casey Hunter, who tied with Fiona Bell. Credit: Laurie Benson

It was a third win in 35 career starts for Gibraltar Rock and the victory also lifted Bell to seven wins, equal with Casey Hunter in the Great Southern Apprentices’ Premiership.

Great Southern leading apprentice Fiona Bell, who tied with Casey Hunter.
Camera IconGreat Southern leading apprentice Fiona Bell, who tied with Casey Hunter. Credit: Laurie Benson

The pair had rides in the final race on the card, with Hunter finishing third on Galinba Blast and Bell 11th on Cruisey Bek, as they shared the title with seven wins apiece.

Meanwhile, Bunbury galloper Stormy Planet recorded her third win in 17 starts, edging out Mongolian Warlord by a long head in the Due South Handicap (1240m).

Shaun Meeres wins the Due South Handicap (1240m) aboard the Peter and Matt Giadresco-trained Stormy Planet.
Camera IconShaun Meeres wins the Due South Handicap (1240m) aboard the Peter and Matt Giadresco-trained Stormy Planet. Credit: Laurie Benson

Ridden by Shaun Meeres, the four-year-old mare was fifth on the turn but continued her strong recent form by sprinting past the field in the home straight for co-trainers Peter and Matt Giadresco, which was their 100th winner as a partnership.

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