Hawkesbury apprentice Chelsea Ings went within a whisker of a country cups double at the weekend. Having just completed easily her most successful season, 22-year-old Ings covered plenty of kilometres in a determined effort to keep her momentum going.
She rode at the popular annual Louth meeting on Saturday, and was narrowly beaten in the 2000m Cup before winning Sunday’s $45,000 Narromine Cup Showcase (1600m) – easily the biggest victory of her career.
Ings notched her 25th win – and her second this season – when A Magic Zariz ($4.80) finished best to win an enthralling race from Leucura ($5.50) and Present Sense ($4.80).
Our Sarastro and Cocktail Time went at it in a real speed battle, opening up a lead of at least 15 lengths on their rivals in the middle stages.
A Magic Zariz is prepared at Coonamble by Cec Hodgson, whose decision to take advantage of Ings’ 2kg claim proved decisive: “Getting Chelsea to ride the horse brought his weight down to 56kg, and she rode him well,” he said.
Ings rode 15 winners last season, and her 3kg allowance was reduced to 2kg last month when she notched her 20th overall success on Hawkesbury-trained Kingston at Dubbo on July 8.
“It’s good to win the Narromine Cup, and nice to win it for Cec, who has given me some rides before,” Ings said. “I wasn’t worried when the leading pair went so far in front because I knew I was on the best horse.”
It’s been a busy start to the new season for the young Hawkesbury jockey, who scored on Arise Augustus for Tuncurry trainer Terry Evans at the Coffs Harbour Cup meeting on August 3. She then had five mounts at last Monday’s Forbes Cup fixture, another ride at Scone the following day and then five at Louth on Saturday.
A tiny village on the banks of the Darling River, Louth is 132km north of Cobar and its population of less than 50 swells considerably for the annual Cup meeting.
Ings was beaten on Sword Fighter ($13) by recent Geelong winner Streak On ($2.30 favorite) in a close finish to the Cup. Fellow Hawkesbury apprentice Simone Vella finished third in the Cup on $17 chance Strike Zone.