Jockey Matthew McGuren
Jockey Matthew McGuren Sam Flanagan

Holiday win for departing jockey

JOCKEY Matthew McGuren snared a running double for trainer Jim Jarvis at the Lismore Turf Club TAB meeting which doubled as a nice holiday farewell for the leading rider.

McGuren, who won the Northern Rivers Racing Association's jockey's premiership in the just completed season, booted home last start winner Yarrinup Flyer in the Benchmark 58 Handicap (1546m).

"Jim might have another good one,” he said of a four-year-old daughter of Helmet.

Yarrinup Flyer has had just the 10 starts for three wins. Yesterday she went back-to-back after winning at her new home track on July 21.

After drawing wide (15) McGuren had her well placed and finished too strongly for a good win.

"I bought her up from Melbourne from the Freedmans,” Jarvis said.

"They said she'd knock up winning races up here.

"Matty can go on holidays to Thailand now.

"We do a lot of work together, he's got the pick of my mounts.”

Earlier, Sylvester backed up placed efforts at his three previous runs to win the Class 1 Handicap (1130m) at Lismore.

The Beaudesert gelding, a four-year-old son of Epaulette, had finished third on his home track before running second and third at Grafton and the Sunshine Coast.

The Ben Ahrens-trained gelding led all the way with Jarrod Woodhouse able to control the tempo perfectly for the well weighted favourite.

"I was pretty confident today,” Woodhouse said after urging Sylvester to his second career win.

"Ben always gets them rock hard fit and he's an honest horse, he did the job today.”

Ben Ahrens' brother Matt Ahrens represented the stable at Lismore and he described Sylvester as a "neat little horse”.

"He's a bit under-performed but pretty well placed today. He's going good and starting to put it all together,” Woodhouse said.

Sylvester will probably stick to the shorter sprint distances around 1100m for the moment, too, Matt Ahrens said.

"He likes to race up on the speed, 1100m will just about see him out,” he said.

In other races, Niva kept an unbeaten partnership intact when the former Victorian mare won the $22,000 Moet & Chandon Marquee Maiden Cup (1230m).

The four-year-old daughter of Danerich had debuted for her new Murwillumbah stable at Ballina recently, running a good fourth over 1005m on a heavy track.

She has now won on a much better track, with apprentice Sheriden Tomlinson on board, for trainer Darren Graham.

"He's put me on twice now for two wins,” Tomlinson said.

"It's my first win at Lismore, too. She was really strong and just needs to relax a little more.”

He said the "fiery mare” won well.

"She can get very hot,” Graham agreed.

"It was a real credit to the kid. It was a great result for us. She goes good - just need to get her habits right. She's only had the four runs, though.”

Norma's Joy arrived late to snatch victory for her Grafton stable in the $22,000 VW Commercial Maiden Handicap (1546m).

The five-year-old mare has had 17 starts and found her feet late to rush home through the middle.

Brooke Stower rode the daughter of Benfica and had hoped to be further forward.

"She wasn't going that well,” Stower said.

"But she hit the line super, got a good run. All the honour to Jason, though.”

Stower was able to weave a passage through the middle of the field to claim a maiden win for Reilly, who said it was a bargain buy and "quite overdue”.

"She's a cheap horse, bought her for $500,” he said.

"Brooke seems to have the key to her.”