Records Galore For In-Form Apprentice Anna Roper

Racing aficionados have been scouring the record books since Sunday when Anna Roper rode Scorched Land to victory for Newcastle trainer Todd Howlett in the $75,000 Coonabarabran Bowling Club-Coonabarabran Showcase Cup.

A fortnight earlier Anna Roper had won the Coonamble Cup on the Bjorn Baker, Warwick Farm-trained Hollywood Hero and the quest is on to discover if an apprentice jockey has previously won the Cups double – Coonamble and Coonabarabran – in the same year.

Apprentice jockey Anna Roper – has now ridden a total of 81 winners in NSW & ACT. Image by Bradley Photographers

Adding further lustre to the 21-year-old rider’s achievements is the fact she rode the winners of the final three races (6, 7, 8) at Coonamble and the winners of races 5, 7 and 8 at Coonabarabran.

The treble at Coonabarabran took the career tally for Anna Roper to 81 and she can no longer claim an apprentices allowance on country tracks.

Resuming race riding in July after an eight-month absence due to serious injury, Anna Roper has been in sensational form and the wins at Coonabarabran on Scarzel, Scorched Land and Dirty Merchant were the result of outstanding rides.

Watch Me Rumble established an early four-length lead in the 1600m Coonabarabran Cup followed by Osman and Torowoto with Scorched Land midfield and the favourite Knife’s Edge near the tail in a strung out field.

Well rated by Jake Pracey-Holmes, Watch Me Rumble ($5) fought on gamely but was beaten two lengths by Scorched Land ($7.50) which chimed in halfway down the straight while Deel Street (Clayton Gallagher, $14) came from back in the field with an inside run for third.

The other winners for Anna Roper were supplied by Scone trainer Cameron Crockett beginning with Scarzel in the 1100m Barrons Tyre & Mechanical Cup Day Showcase Sprint.

With the lead from the outset, Scarzel ($4.20) prevailed in a three-way photo finish over Moetta (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $18) and Ezekiel (Aaron Bullock, $1.85 favourite).

The Cameron Crockett-trained Dirty Merchant (Anna Roper, $3.60 equal fav) in the 1200m Brad Edwards Air Conditioning Country Boosted Showcase Class 2 Plate gained a rails run over the closing stages to beat Exonumia (Aaron Bullock, $3.60 eq fav) and Sisters Pick (Jayden Barrie, $12).

Making it four wins in succession the Brett Robb, Dubbo-trained Simply Xtravagant defeated a good field in the $40,000 Futurity Pastoral-Baradine Cup, run as a Showcase Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1400m.

Third to the home turn, Simply Xtravagant ($2.90 to $2.45 fav) was switched around heels by Clayton Gallagher and in a gripping finish lunged on the outside to beat Ringside (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $17) and Calgary King Aaron Bullock. $3.40).

Clayton Gallagher with very strong rides also won on the debutante Deion ($6) for Brett Robb and on Foxy Baroness ($3.40) trained by Connie Greig.

The other winners at the Cup meeting which attracted the biggest crowd for several years were Break Over (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $3.20 to $2 fav) trained by Clint Lundholm and Titled Tycoon (Chelsea Hillier, $3 to $1.80 fav) trained by Rod Northam.

– Racing NSW

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