Willow River makes a bold first-up statement

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Ben Patterson wins the 19th January Grapes and Gallops Handicap over 100 metres aboard the Nikki Davies trained Transgressor.
Camera IconBen Patterson wins the 19th January Grapes and Gallops Handicap over 100 metres aboard the Nikki Davies trained Transgressor. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany trainer Rebecca Wallrodt began the 2019-20 Great Southern racing season on a winning note after Willow River stormed home from second-last on the turn to win first-up in the Mt Barker Co-Op Handicap (1000m) on Sunday.

Wallrodt has had the four-year-old mare for four starts since joining her stable in April.

Willow River came flashing down the outside to score by 0.6 lengths over Raging Rocket and Wallrodt said she expected the speed horse to go well.

“I was very pleased with the outcome,” she said.

“I was quietly confident that she could run a race like that.

Jason Whiting wins the 1000 metre Mt Barker Co Op Handicap with the Rebecca Wallrodt trained Willow River.
Camera IconJason Whiting wins the 1000 metre Mt Barker Co Op Handicap with the Rebecca Wallrodt trained Willow River. Credit: Laurie Benson

“Probably look for a similar race, similar distance and she gets pretty worked up at the races, so for now we will stay local.

“Will hope that she can learn to relax and then look at what else there is for her.”

A post-race protest was not enough to keep Roy Rogers from taking out the first race of the season after Propeller prevailed on debut, holding off short-priced favourite Prized Nemesis in the dying stages.

Propeller bumped Prized Nemesis in the final 25m before grabbing Black Missile in the last few strides to win the Cartehil Maiden (1000m).

Apprentice Kristy Bennett is attended to by St John staff after taking a fall from her mount in the 1000 metre Mt Barker Co Op Handicap.
Camera IconApprentice Kristy Bennett is attended to by St John staff after taking a fall from her mount in the 1000 metre Mt Barker Co Op Handicap. Credit: Laurie Benson

“I have only had him for three weeks,” Rogers said. “I want to thank the owners and especially Lindsay Smith, who has done a lot of work with his horse.

“She is very green still. I told the jockey to stay out of trouble because as you could see, it got scared in the straight.”

Transgressor returned to the winners’ stalls for the first time in 11 starts after taking out the 19th January G&G Handicap (1000m) by 1.5 lengths over the fast-finishing Candlelight Star.

Jockey Ben Paterson settled outside the leader on the $2.50 favourite before turning for home in front and coasting clear for visiting trainer Nikki Davies.

Jason Whiting returns to scale after winning the 1000 metre Mt Barker Co Op Handicap with the Rebecca Wallrodt trained Willow River.
Camera IconJason Whiting returns to scale after winning the 1000 metre Mt Barker Co Op Handicap with the Rebecca Wallrodt trained Willow River. Credit: Laurie Benson

Jockey Kayla Cross was suspended for 21 for careless riding in race four after her mount Dynamite Bay shifted inwards bumping Swanky Lass into Ibiza, with Ibiza jockey Kristy Bennett being dislodged as a result and hitting her head against a section of the rail.

Bennett was cleared of any injury but was stood down for the remainder of the meeting.

Jordan Turner received a $300 fine for a whip breach in race 1.

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