New trainers celebrate Flemington firsts
Two fledgling trainers have celebrated career milestones at Flemington with both Maddie Raymond (pictured) and Caroline Jennings landing their first winners at the famous track.
Raymond was victorious in the opening staying race with Wentwood before Jennings' three-year-old filly Written Miss kept her undefeated record intact in the Lexus Holiday Plate (1200m).
Both trainers only gained their licences at the start of the year.
Raymond was saddling up just her fourth starter at Flemington while Jennings was represented by her first.
The Warrnambool-based Raymond said it was unbelievable that she had managed to win a race at the metropolitan track.
She confirmed former Irish stayer Wentwood would now head to the Bagot Handicap over 2800 metres on New Year's Day at Flemington.
Raymond praised the exceptional ride from Damian Lane, who managed to settle Wentwood in the run which was the key to his victory.
Lane is enjoying an amazing form surge this summer and Wentwood was his 12th winner from his past 28 rides.
The top jockey intends to take a break from race riding after the Caulfield meeting on Boxing Day when he will return to Perth for a two-week break.
"I've been working hard over spring and early summer and I've been getting more opportunities because of that and things are starting to click," Lane said.
The Pakenham-based Jennings took her record to six winners from only 19 starters after the narrow victory by Written Miss, who took her record to three wins from three starts.
Jennings said she would go home and digest the manner of the filly's win before she made any plans.
"We'll see how she pulls up and just make some exciting plans that will suit her," Jennings said.
The win was jockey Jason Benbow's first at Flemington since he was successful on Astro Castro in July, 2016.
Top hoops Craig Williams, Luke Currie and Nash Rawiller were stood down from riding at the Flemington meeting by Racing Victoria stewards after being in Sydney during the week.
They have been told to self-isolate at home pending the results of COVID-19 tests.