By Grahame Timbrell
The Rising Star apprentices series was never really on the radar for Nyssa Burrells until she started to enjoy some success and creep up the leaderboard.
It was then that she and her partner, Menangle based trainer Andrew Jenkyn decided it would be worthwhile pursuing but if she was going to do it she would have to be prepared to travel.
Chasing a win would be particularly helpful considering the 29-year-old is only in the second year of her apprenticeship.
“It would certainly be a feather in my cap and help me get better rides if I could win it,” Burrells said.
The effort has paid off so far with Nyssa leading on 17 points, three ahead of Blaike McDougall with the pair to clash in the heat at Muswellbrook on Thursday, the Godolphin Benchmark 60 (1280m).
Burrells will ride the Jenkyn-trained Champawi while McDougall will be on the David Pfieffer-trained Penultimate Star.
Jenkyn also accepted with Champawi at Gosford on Friday but will scratch her. “This is an opportunity for Nyssa to go even further ahead in the point score and we don’t want to miss it,” Jenkyn said.
Burrells and McDougall were locked in the lead on 14 points until Burrells made the trip to Coffs Harbour to ride in that heat last month and finish third on My Boy Louie for Grafton trainer Alan Ryan. The third gave her three points and the lead.
Burrells rode Champawi when the mare was never out of trouble to finish eighth at Canberra at her second run back from a freshen up.
“Every run I went for closed on me,” Burrells said. “When she did get clear she flew home and she has done really well since then.”
Burrells rode work for some years in Sydney then went to Ireland and rode work over the jumps before returning home and taking out her indentured with Menangle trainer Scott Wade.
“Riding work over the jumps was good fun,” Burrells said.
This heat appears to be a battle between Burrells and McDougall with Champawi a seven year old mare chasing her fifth win and Penultimate Star a promising three year old filly having only her fifth start and chasing her second win.
At her second start Penultimate Star ran second in a Goulburn maiden, followed that up by winning a Canberra maiden then ran third on a heavy track at Nowra.
The apprentice that wins this heat will earn seven points, second five and third three with one point to each of the other unplaced riders.
SELECTIONS: 1-1.55, GODOLPHIN BENCHMARK 60, 1280m: CHAMPAWI 1, Penultimate Star 2, Slippery Moss 3, Independent Air 4. 2-2.35, TAB.COM.AU CLASS ONE AND MAIDEN, 1750m: KOKOPU 1, Stan 2, Mon’s Gal 3, Finnero 4. 3-3.10, HORSEPOWER MAIDEN, 1000m: RUBY RED GIFT 1, Eilean Donan 2, Justus 3, The Baker 4. 4-3.45, TWO RIVERS WINES 3YO MAIDEN, 1280m: VOLPE 1, Manhattan Mist 2, Bellabrook 3, Recorded 4. 5-4.20, MAGIC MILLIONS YEARLING SALE NOW ON BENCHMARK 60, 1000m: ZERO CASH 1, Rosella Amalfi 2, Local Hero 3, Frankiefourfingers 4. 6-4.55, DUNDEEL’S FIRST YEARLINGS @ MAGIC MILLIONS BENCHMARK 60, 1500m: BIG ALBERT, Deangelo 2, Bandit Bay 3, Far Out 4. 7-5.35, DECLARATION OF WAR YEARLINGS IN 2017 CLASS ONE 1280m: ALL AFLUTTER 1, Western Saga 2, Oakfield Tycoon 3, Denzil 4. Best Bets: Kokopu, Volpe.