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Lacey too Pacey with Dazzling Double
Comeback jockey Lacey Morrison showed she’d lost none of the skill that made her the toast of Townsville 14 years ago with a stylish winning double at Cluden Park today.
Morrison bookended the six-event card with wins aboard boom filly Ruby July in the first, and Peony Rose in the last for her biggest supporter, trainer Sharlee D’Avila.
The 35-year-old became the first woman to win the Townsville Cup with victory on Legal Brief in 2007.
After a brilliant but turbulent career that was marred by two horrific race falls, Morrison returned to race riding earlier this year after eight years in retirement.
Now based on the Tablelands, Morrison is once again donning the silks to support herself and her five-year-old son until she finishes studying to become a nurse.
“It’s good money and I’m enjoying it,” she said after guiding Ruby July to a strong win in the C.U.B 3YO Hcp Benchmark 65 Hcp (1000m).
“I’ve been mainly concentrating on the non-TAB meetings and occasionally days like this.
“Riding work for Sharlee and the race days gives me the financial security, and the flexibility to study and look after my son. I’m happy with how I’m going.”
Morrison was a leading apprentice of her time in the south-east of the State , winning a Toowoomba premiership, a Group 3 BTC Classic aboard Proudly Agro at Doomben as well as a Ramornie Hcp.
Today, Morrison produced a copybook ride on the hotpot Ruby July to open the card with a win.
The Be Esprit filly was sent out at the prohibitive odds of $1.22 and after cruising in second to the turn went on to a solid two length win.
Peony Rose was saved for a late charge thanks to a Morrison special.
She crossed from six gate to be fourth on the fence to the turn, before switching around the heels of leaders and finishing too well from the eye-catching Opinions.
Tolga trainer Roy Chillemi is closing in on one of his best recent Townsville seasons after another winning treble.
Chillemi lifted his tally at Cluden in 2020/21 to 27 wins after Boomed, the flying mare Willygood and Borella all saluted.
“It has been a good year and hopefully there’s a bit more to come,” Chillemi said.
“I looked at today’s card and thought we might have our work cut out to win a race but everything went our way.
“The stable has been investing in youngsters rather than performed horses and building the team up and we’re going well.”
Chillemi said Borella would be set for benchmark races at around 2000m while Willygood would target the Bracelet over the Townsville winter carnival and Boomed may have another run before a let-up.
Pictured: You gotta love that. Lacey Morrison returns to scale on Peony Rose after landing the second leg of a winning double Photo courtesy of Mike Mills Photography.
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