IT WAS a special moment for two Southern District apprentice jockeys at Narrandera’s Cup meeting on Saturday.
Wagga apprentice Rebeka Prest claimed the $12,000 Leeton Toyota Narrandera Cup (1400m) on the Chris Davis-trained Ruary Mac ($4.00).
For Prest, it was a significant victory in her return from eight months out with injury.
Prest returned to race riding in March and is now starting to hit her straps, highlighted by Ruary Mac’s tough win in the Narrandera feature.
The eight-year-old sat three wide the trip and claimed $2,80 favourite Benno’s Boy halfway down the straight, before holding off the fast-finishing Inner Strength ($3.00).
Only a little over two lengths separated the five-horse Cup field at the finish.
“He toughed it out really well,” Prest said.
“He sat three deep, Chris told me not to be any further than two lengths off the leader and didn’t care if I was wide.
“He was coming back in distance after running over a mile at Swan Hill, on an absolute bog track, where he just felt it the last bit. So the drop back in distance and the better surface helped.”
Prest, who has claimed a Griffith Cup before, was thrilled to take another country feature.
“It’s fantastic to win a Cup race, especially in the SDRA,” she said.
“I thought we had a chance, I was quite confident with the small field.”
It capped off a big week for Prest, who outrode her three kilogram provincial claim with a win on Marchello at Wodonga last Monday.
“I’m going really good at the moment,” she said.
“I’m getting a lot of rides and chances, especially over the border. I’m getting a good crack, which is good.”
Meantime, Richards had to survive a protest to enjoy the first win of his career, in front of proud parents Rob and Annette.
“I was stoked. Really happy to finally get a winner,” Richards said.
“I knew it would come, with the right horse at the right time. It went well.”