While the Mudgee races were on over the Easter weekend, Lightning Ridge held their own on Saturday, April 15.
Gulgong’s Brett Thompson, who had just a single entrant in the Easter Sunday meet here in Mudgee, had nine horses nominated for the non-TAB meeting.
Of those nine, six started their races, and in an impressive feat for any trainer around the region, Thompson netted a hat-trick of first place finishes.
The trifecta of top place finishes came in Races 3, 4 and 6, with favourite for Race 5 One Last Poet (starting at 4 with 2.6:1 odds) falling short at fourth and denying four straight wins to close out the day for the travelling trainer.
Although in Thompson’s first race, the Peter Waterford Memclass 1 Handicap at 900m, his entrant Incredible Story placed 6th.
The Charlie Pye Gingie Gallop Benchmark 60 Handicap, run at 1000m, was the first win of the day with Jake Pracey-Holmes riding Tumbling Dice to the top spot.
The 1200m Maiden Plate was the next race up for the Thompson / Pracey-Holmes combination, this time with Turf on Top able to live up to the favourite title and beat out Invincible Halo and Zelest for first.
Thought Race 5 saw Miss Mellencamp the winner, the final race of the day paid first and third as dividends, with Yuya Saiki riding Leroska (an outside favourite at 5.5:1) to the bronze spot.
Pracey-Holmes rode Pencita across the line in first place to round out the trifecta victory in Lightning Ridge.
Thompson has nominated for Muswellbrook, Merriwa and Dubbo over the coming weekend.