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Staeck in seventh heaven after Friarfighter triumph

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Talented sprinter Friarfighter notched his second win in four starts, skipping clear in the closing stages of the Kenso Dry Handicap (1230m) in Albany on Thursday, giving jockey Daniel Staeck his seventh winner of the Great Southern season in the process.

Staeck and Albany trainer Denis McAuliffe have combined twice now with the six-year-old gelding after he won over the same distance at Percy Spencer Racecourse on January 14.

Up in class last start, the son of Blackfriars finished six lengths behind My Greek Boy and jumped a $15.60 hope on the tote, but Staeck lobbed him in a perfect spot in running and he kicked home strongly to beat Vigorhesta by ¾ of a length while $2 favourite War Jeune recovered from blundering mid-race to fill third place.

Jockey Daniel Staeck returns to scale after winning the Kenso Dry Handicap (1230m) on the Denis McAuliffe-trained Friarfighter.
Camera IconJockey Daniel Staeck returns to scale after winning the Kenso Dry Handicap (1230m) on the Denis McAuliffe-trained Friarfighter. Credit: Albany Advertiser

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McAuliffe said Friarfighter was in terrific form and would step up in grade once again.

“He’ll start in the 68+ next week and be competitive in that,” he said.

“I had a lot of problems with his feet before but, he’s real healthy now.

“He can switch off and switch on in races and is jumping out of his skin at the moment.”

In his comeback season in the saddle, Staeck has notched seven winners in the Great Southern while scoring 15 provincial winners and four metropolitan successes.

Jockey Lisa Staples will miss the next two Great Southern meetings after copping her second careless riding suspension this month in Albany on Thursday.

Banned for careless riding in Bunbury on March 1, Staples was found guilty of the same offence in race 5 on Thursday aboard Twisted Mountain.

Stewards opened an inquiry into the race after heavily supported favourite War Jeune clipped heels and blundered at the 900m.

They found Staples allowed her mount to shift inwards when insufficiently clear, causing War Jeune to blunder.

Staples was suspended for 12 days to be served cumulatively from the 11-day ban in Bunbury, leaving her on the sidelines until March 29.

The ban rules Staples, who has recorded six wins in the Great Southern this season, out of riding in Albany next week and at the final Mt Barker Turf Club meeting on March 26 featuring the $35,000 Mt Barker Cup.

Local trainer Steve Wolfe shot to the outright lead in the Great Southern trainers’ premiership after finishing with a double last on the seven-race program.

Jester Rock kicks clear of his rivals to win the Waratah Handicap (1600m) with Shaun McGruddy in the saddle.
Camera IconJester Rock kicks clear of his rivals to win the Waratah Handicap (1600m) with Shaun McGruddy in the saddle. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Consistent three-year-old filly Boxonlucy deservedly broke her maiden status after four consecutive second placings before Jester Rock claimed the Waratah Handicap (1600m) to give Wolfe and rider Shaun McGruddy winning doubles.

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