TALENTED Wagga apprentice jockey Molly Bourke is on the move to Canberra.
Bourke has joined the Doug Gorrel stable at Canberra on what will start as a three-month loan.
Bourke, 18, has not yet been race-riding for 12 months but has already notched up 18 winners.
Gorrel is looking forward to Bourke joining a small but talented team of riders associated with his stable.
"She'll be a very good addition to my team," Gorrel said.
"I'll try to help kick her along. She's started out really well but of course with apprentices the next 12 months to two years is the make or break time when you've got to kick on after they've outridden their three kilo claim.
"Molly sits on good, she's nice and balanced. Like a lot of three kilo claimers, she's probably pigeon holed as a front-running rider on speedsters but that's a bit unfair I think. To be a career jockey you've got to be able to win on them from everywhere and we're looking forward to helping her along."
Bourke believes Canberra will be the ideal base for her moving forward.
"It should be really good, I'm quite excited about it," Bourke said.
"I needed the change and hopefully it will open up more opportunities. I was struggling to get rides around here and get most of my rides around Moruya and Nowra, so Canberra will be a lot more central too."
Hayden Kelly will also begin managing Bourke as of Monday.
SDRA Country Championships Qualifier winner Another One is expected to be one of the leading contenders in the $500,000 final.
That's the view of TAB, who moved Another One into $6.00 second favourite following his impressive win at Wagga on Saturday.
Far Too Easy, who won the Northern Rivers heat, is the $4.50 favourite, but Another One is next at $6.00.
Albury galloper Tap N Run is on the third line of betting at $8.00, alongside South East winner Testator Silens and Edit, who will go around in his heat on Sunday week.
WAGGA sprinter Blitzar appears the most likely of any Southern District gallopers to head to Scone for the Country Championships Wild Card.
The $50,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships WIld Card (1400m) is the last chance for any horses to book their place in the $500,000 final at Randwick on April 2.
The race has been moved from Muswellbrook to Scone this year, and is now over 1400m.
Wagga trainer Chris Heywood is leaning towards taking Blitzar to Scone.
"I'm keen to go," Heywood said.
"Previously before we've never had a horse with a high enough benchmark to go.
"I think we'll aim for the wild card and if we accept and draw 15 of 15, we won't go and we can go to the City Handicap (at Albury).
"If we do draw well, we'll go, but if we don't we've got the option of the City Handicap."
Albury trainer Donna Scott is not likely to push on to the Wild Card with any of her trio, third placegetter Gusonic, or Oamanikka and Halo Warrior. But she, like many trainers, believes the location of the race makes it an unsuitable option.
"It's a shame they don't have something this side. It's hard to target it when it's so far away," Scott said.
"Even if they looked at rotating the venue, I think that would be a good idea."
Scott intends on targetting a midweek race in Melbourne with her lot.
Albury trainer Mitch Beer, who had Swagger finish fifth, isn't likely to head to Scone at this stage.
"Probably not. It's a long way to go for one race," Beer said.
ALBURY jockey Brodie Loy has secured a ride in the group one Blue Diamond at Caulfield on Saturday.
Loy will ride the Annabel Neasham-trained Flashing Steel in the $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
Flashing Steel is a $126 chance.
Murrumbidgee Turf Club treasurer Brett Bradley and wife Andrea also have an interest in the race as part-owners in the Hawkes-trained Semillion, who is an $18 chance.
Reigning Southern District premiership-winning jockey Blaike McDougall will ride Oxley Road in the group one Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
EXCITING Albury three-year-old Sparring will not go around in Saturday's Highway at Randwick as planned.
Albury trainer Ron Stubbs decided not to accept with Sparring due to the heavy rain that has fallen in Sydney this week.
The track was rated a heavy eight on Wednesday after 135 millmetres of rain fell on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Stubbs was disappointed not to push ahead with the Sydney run given leading jockey James McDonald had been booked to ride.
A midweek city race at Sandown next week is one of the options Stubbs will now consider for Sparring.
TALENTED mare Sunrise Ruby will not make her return to the track at Albury on Sunday.
The well-performed mare is among the nominations for the City Handicap Prelude (1000m) but Albury trainer Mitch Beer has ruled her out from resuming there.
Stablemate Hardware Lane is also among the nominations and is a good chance of going around despite also being nominated for Kembla Grange next Tuesday.
"My preference would be to run him at home," Beer said.
"It's a big ask for a horse who has only won a maiden but to be fair, he's going better than anything here."
Unbeaten filly Well In Sight will look to make it three from three when she contests the Class Two Handicap (1175m) with Mathew Cahill in the saddle.
CONGRATULATIONS to former Wagga trainer Maddy Collins and apprentice jockey Josh Richards on the birth of their baby boy on Sunday.
The pair welcomed Harvey Thomas Richards to the world.
Richards rode a winner at Flemington last Saturday and has since taken a few days off race riding to enjoy the special moment.
BARRIER trials have been added to both Leeton and Albury's race meetings this weekend.
A set of non-raceday trials were to be held at Gundagai on Wednesday but were abandoned due to insufficient nominations.
Horses that were nominated for Gundagai will be given preference at both Leeton and Albury.
Saturday: Leeton (non-TAB)
Sunday: Albury (TAB)
Friday: Wagga (TAB)
Tuesday: Leeton (TAB)
Friday: Wagga (TAB)
Sunday: Temora (TAB)
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