Samantha Clenton hits the road to pay for new wheels


ON THE GO: Newcastle apprentice Samantha Clenton has ridden 58 winners this season. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

HIGH-FLYING Newcastle apprentice Samantha Clenton is aiming for a rare treble on Saturday when she rides at both the Rosehill and Broadmeadow race meetings.

Jockeys in the past have ridden at two venues on the one day, but it is a rarity these days.

Clenton was involved in a minor car accident while driving to the Wyong meeting on Thursday. However, the accident did not dent her confidence as she produced a daring front-running ride to win on the Hunter Valley-trained Loyalist a few hours later.

Clenton will be aboard her boss Kris Lees’ smart filly Marple Miss in the opening event at Rosehill at 1.05pm.

All going well, she will have plenty of time to drive back up the M1 to pilot Rustic Melody for Lees in race seven at Broadmeadow at 5.10pm.

Clenton rounds off the day on Merry Christmas in the final event at Broadmeadow.

The state’s leading apprentice this season said she was looking forward to the ordeal.

‘‘It is no big deal riding at both tracks the way the races are spaced,’’ the 22-year-old said. ‘‘Marple Miss ($2.80 fav) is a very good ride as she is in terrific form with easy wins at her last two starts at Randwick and Wyong.

‘‘I didn’t ride Marple Miss at Randwick but I rode her two starts back when she won by 5 lengths at Wyong. She is a very nice filly and with 55.5 kilos on her back tomorrow she is very well placed.

‘‘Rustic Melody is first-up, but she goes good and I am expecting her to test these. I have ridden Merry Christmas a couple of times and he is an honest trier who likes the Broadmeadow track.

‘‘I am aiming for a treble so we will see how we go. I want to buy a new car so I have to keep riding winners.’’

Clenton has ridden 58 winners this season and sits fifth behind Blake Shinn, James McDonald, Robert Thompson and Hugh Bowman in the NSW premiership.

It is another busy day for the Lees stable on Saturday with runners at Rosehill (Marple Miss, Oriental Lady and Hera), Sandown (Moment of Music), Doomben (Artibai) and Broadmeadow (Knit ‘n’ Purl, Land Grant, Beyond, Danish Twist, Who’s Next and Rustic Melody). Land Grant and Who’s Next both have bright prospects at Broadmeadow.

Former Perth jockey Paul ‘‘The Duck’’ King has a full book of eight rides and he told the Herald on Friday that Themis (race one) and Don Pellegrino (race eight) were his best.

‘‘Themis is trained by Gai [Waterhouse] and she pulled up lame when down the track in the Gimcrack at her only start,’’ he said. ‘‘She raced on the speed that day and she went well in a recent trial.

‘‘Don Pellegrino is a progressive horse of Paul Perry’s which ran on strong late to finish third first-up at Scone recently. I have ridden this horse in four of his five starts and he won second-up in his only preparation. He is up in class but is on the limit weight.’’

Australian Test cricket captain Steve Smith will have an eye on Broadmeadow on Saturday when Sashay, which he part-owns, runs in an 1850m maiden.

Trained by Chris Waller, Sashay is a former New Zealand mare which has had two starts in this country, both at Broadmeadow. She goes to a more suitable trip on Saturday and she should have a cosy run back on the rail from her favourable draw.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Jockey Club directors, members and staff are in mourning following the death of past chairman and life member Ross Magin.

Magin was chairman from 1989 to 1992 and he held several other positions during his time on the NJC board.

‘‘Ross will be sadly missed by all,’’ NJC chairman Geoff Barnett said.

‘‘Ross was a major contributor to the operations of the club and years after he resigned from the board he continued to attend race meetings at Broadmeadow.

‘‘I sat with Ross at the Boxing Day meeting and he commented on how great it was to see a crowd of young racegoers in attendance.’’

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