ELLISE Apolony is looking to back up a career first on her home track with another one on Friday.
The 22-year-old scored her first win in just her third attempt as a driver at West Wyalong last Friday.
She saluted on $151 chance Just Smokin to ensure a memorable moment less than a month after her first drive.
Apolony was thrilled to take the win.
"It was very, very exciting," Apolony said.
"I knew he was going good but I didn't think he was going that good."
Apolony sat last after an early burn, but the six-year-old chimed in at the right time.
He kept finding to the finish to bring up his second win at start 59.
It broke an almost three-year drought for Just Smokin who went 50 starts without winning.
However he had been placed in 12 of those races.
"It worked out well for him," Apolony said.
"He likes it when they go a bit harder the whole way through and he just plugged away coming for home.
"I was really happy with him."
👏👏 Congratulations to Ellise Apolony who drove her first winner at West Wyalong today.— Harness Racing NSW (@HRNSW_Harness) October 22, 2021
Ellise only began driving in races last month & at just her third drive has landed that win!
It was an upset too with Just Smokin winning at starting odds of $151!
Just Smokin has drawn barrier two in the final.
Apolony drove Just Smokin to victory for Glen Judd.
She gives him plenty of credit for getting into the sport.
"I had off the track thoroughbred horses and was stabled with them and it all just started from there," Apolony said.
"I was driving a few at home so I got my stablehand licence and it has all changed now."
Now she's eyeing off her first win as a trainer and Apolony is hoping Judd can return the favour when he drives her mare Napoli Nights on Friday.
The pair are looking to take advantage of drawing barrier one.
"It would be good if she could get up and she seems to be going quite well at the moment," Apolony said.
"She has been pretty consistent in the last couple of weeks so we will see how we go on Friday. We've got a very good draw."
CROWDS will return at a harness racing meeting in the Riverina for the first time since August at West Wyalong's Carnival of Cups meeting on Friday.
While a number of clubs have had the opportunity, West Wyalong were the first to submit their COVIDSafe Segregation Plan to Harness Racing NSW.
After racing behind closed doors last week, secretary Rodney Crowe is looking forward to the return of crowds.
"We're on track to welcome people back," Crowe said.
"It will be great to have people back on course and while we're not sure how many to expect to have it will be interesting to see."
The club has made plenty of changes since they last raced with a crowd.
"It should be a good day," Crowe said.
"I think it's an even program and the (SJC Contracting Pacers) final is the race of the day in my opinion.
"It's a cracking field with an open betting race after a $151 shot won one of the heats, a $10 one won another of the heats while they had very short favourites in those two races.
"It will depend on how the drivers attack the race as to how the result goes."
Crowe is also pleased with the cup field with Are Doubleyou and Forever Yin leading the Riverina's charge, Steve Turnbull has two runners while Bid For Stardom has won four of his last five starts for Greg Pay.
JOANNE Punch has replaced her late husband Garry as president of the Leeton Harness Racing Club.
Punch also retained her role as secretary following the club's annual general meeting om Sunday.
Leeton raced behind closed doors on Tuesday but are building towards a big end to the year with their new dates for the MIA Breeders Plate.
Heats for the two-year-old classic will be run on December 14 before the $30,000 final is run on Boxing Day.
The club elected to utilise the change in the racing season to run their feature race on December 26, when the heats used to be run.
Leeton also races on November 16.
THE Stunning Nun continued her strong run of form since leaving the Riverina with group three success at Menangle on Saturday.
The five-year-old made it seven wins and a second in 10 starts since joining Young product Jason Grimson.
However she had to survive a protest from another Riverina owned mare, Fairy Tinkabell, to get the result.
She finished a half neck clear to go past $160,000 in career earnings.
MAAJIDA is chasing her fourth group one victory in the Queen Of The Pacific at Melton on Saturday.
The Rock-owned and bred mare has drawn barrier 10 in the $100,000 feature.
It comes after a second in the second leg of the Mares Triple Crown at Geelong on Saturday.
THE Ideal Dancer broke through for a well-deserved win at Albion Park on Saturday.
After only missing the top four in three of his 12 starts since leaving Paul Kahlefeldt's stable in July, the five-year-old broke through for his first Queensland success.
Still owned by Justin Kahlefeldt and Terry McMillan, The Ideal Dancer set a new career best mile rate of 1:55.0.
MICHAEL Ross brought up a quinella as a part-owner at Leeton on Tuesday.
His two fillies were left to fight out the three-year-old race on the card with Punt Away finishing too good for Beryl.
In her second Australian start, Punt Away went on to win by 2.3 metres.
It was one of three winners on the night for Euroley combination David Kennedy and Jackson Painting.
They also scored with Shes A Caribbean and All Good.
WEST Wyalong will hold its Carnival of Cups meeting on Friday.
The eight-race program will be the first time trainers from outside the region will compete here since regionalised racing was introduced.
The first is at 1.18pm.
Griffith's Cup carnival then starts on Tuesday with the heats of the feature as well as for up to 45 pacers.
The finals will be the following Saturday.
ON THE Pace is having another spell but will be back in December 2's edition of The Daily Advertiser.