Julie Branford had a winning double at the Port Lincoln races on Sunday with Ruby’s Reward and Hand To Hand. Both were well fancied at their previous runs and delivered on this occasion.
Race 1 Maiden 1210m
Odds-on favourite Faith In Grace won by five lengths. Straight to the front, the Simon Drewitt trained mare justified the strong betting support being backed into $1.50.
Gourmelin was the best of an average lot chasing behind, filling the quinella.
Race 2 Benchmark 80 1750m
Copper Coast Raider ($7.50) returned to form with a strong win, settling closer than recent runs he had plenty to offer when asked by Jeff Maund late. The Brian Lear trained winner can sustain a long preparation and could come into cup calculations.
Never Doubt us found the line well for second with Hard At It battling away in third.
Favourite Emoji was slightly disappointing after a good run in front and Umaluka appreciates more tempo.
Race 3 Class Two 1210m
Storm Voyager ($2.20 fav) presented well in the mounting yard and ran accordingly, using up early to find the front she kicked away on the home bend.
Darryl Carrison looks to have a handy filly here who will be winning better races than this.
Jamie Kah rode this three-year-old in what may be her last meeting riding here with a possible move to Melbourne eminent.
Oblique Line found the line well again as we have become accustom and Choux Bacquat stuck on well for third.
Race 4 Benchmark 56 1000m
Solid on speed win by Rubys Reward ($6.50), crossing to the death seat early she held off the late challenge of Classy Jack who peeled off her back and looked set for victory with the big weight.
This mare has been hard to follow this season but rewarded her followers and may go on with the job now.
Classy Jack will be winning when he gets weight relief and can find the front in a higher grade.
Race 5 Benchmark 64 1390m
Magnus Magic ($19) made it three wins in a row for the John Hickmott team. This mare was strong late to hold off the challengers at big odds.
Chase Suprano and Onward filled the placing respectively in creditable performances.
Race 6 Benchmark 64 1210m
Punters were on the money backing Kingson, given a peach of a ride by Raquel Clark, into a clear favourite at $3. The Byron Cozamanis trained four-year-old was rewarded for consistency.
Mr Liberty found the line but gave away too big a start. Licorice Bullet at big odds added value to the trifecta.
Race 7 Benchmark 56 1750
Hand To Hand kept coming late to score. Synergy had his nose in front but not where it counted.
Synergy and Another Martini added huge value to the exotic bets.
The Ceduna Cup this Saturday. The next Port Lincoln meeting is January 25.