Dubbo apprentice Kaylee Kirkwood had one job during the Mudgee Race Club’s showcase meeting on Sunday, and she got it done in style.
The talented young hoop guided Invincible Thunder to victory in the Lion Maiden Showcase Plate (1200m), the first race on a crackerjack card that includes the $150,000 Central Districts Country Championship qualifier.
The ride on Peter Nestor’s three-year-old filly was Kirwkwood’s only ride of the meeting, her first win since January 7 on Gilgandra Cup day.
You couldn’t wipe the smile off her face, either.
“She’s my only ride today so it’s good to win,” Kirkwood beamed.
“I ride her every day, I know her like the back of my hand. I know how to judge her and that’s a really big help.”
Invincible Thunder ($9.50) jumped well out of barrier three, much better than pre-race favourite Cabriere ($1.75), who battled a wall of horses virtually from the outset of the 1200m maiden.
Kirkwood maintained her filly’s lead rounding the Mudgee turn and continued to lead the pack while positioning her hope on the rails as the field hit the straight.
And that’s where the challengers emerged.
Lucy’s Legacy ($15) and Dark Haze ($3.70) mounted serious challenges on Invincible Thunder’s lead but, in promising signs for the fairly green filly, she fended off each of them to win by half-a-length.
Kirkwood was elated with the filly’s performance.
“She traveled really well throughout, she’s a little bit green still,” she said.
“I just tried to get her to settle a little bit, she likes to go hard and once she settled and came back to me I knew she’d be a really good chance.”
For the Cameron Crockett stable, Lucy’s Legacy finished second in a photo finish from Dark Haze in third.