By Tony Megahey
While prolific jockey Greg Ryan has the numbers and regional stable strength to dominate Sunday’s booming TAB Narromine Gold Cup meeting, rookie apprentice Angela Cooper is primed for a slice of riding honours.
The diminutive 4kg claimer backs up on highly fancied flyer Miss Casier after rating her to perfection to post her first win in the saddle at Wellington recently.
Apprenticed to accomplished trainer Danny Williams at Goulburn, Angela has only had a handful of rides so far but the opportunities are increasing with her recent success which included a second winner at Gundagai last weekend.
“She’s very capable, rode this mare a treat to win last start and a four kilo claim when a kid’s got confidence is a big start in any race,” enthused Miss Casier’s veteran trainer Stephen Jones.
“This is a jump and run mare - she relaxes and doesn’t pull, so her style is ideal when kids are getting experience.
“She’ll be hard to beat again. But she doesn’t have to (lead) either, I think she can still win with a sit. But where she’s drawn I don’t think there’s much in the race that could lead her anyway.”
Miss Casier wins at Wellington on July 23
A four-race winner, Miss Casier contests a BM 66 Jack Walsh Memorial 800m from barrier five in a capacity field.
Ryan rode her when she won at Wellington on July 19 but a steep weight increase saw Jones utilise the maximum claim next start.
“It was a big hike from 55kg up to 61kg - we needed the weight relief and we’ve gone that way again,” added Jones, hinting at bigger occasions with the five-year-old Delago Deluxe mare.
“She’s come up outstanding this prep, if she keeps progressing she might even make a city midweeker. She hasn’t been extended, she’s run time and she’s got that acceleration out of a gate.”
Incidentally Ryan, with a full book of eight rides on the day, is on the main danger to Miss Casier which is Tuncoona for Clint Lundholm.
A three-race winner, Tuncoona is primed by a winning a Wellington open barrier trial, ridden by Ryan, three weeks ago.
Ryan’s influence will also be seen on strong form runners for Dean Mirfin, Rod Northam and also Jones.
Angela also rides outsider Farstar in the fifth event for Michael Plummer in her first year indentured to Williams.
“Angela has got the racing pedigree, her grandfather Gary was a great old trainer out west for decades and all the family since have been involve in racing,” Williams explained.
“We ride work together, she’s got the work ethic, understand horses and importantly she’s getting more opportunities, now she’s ridden a couple of winners.''