Tegan takes out Iris Nielsen Handicap
BRISBANE jockey Tegan Harrison won the $30,000 Iris Nielsen Handicap (1400m) for a second time at the Ballina Jockey Club TAB meeting yesterday.
She rode the Paddy Cunningham-trained Hula Girl ($5) to finish a half-head in front of Moon In The Stars ($11) with Budget Bender ($7) just a nose back in third.
Harrison, who started as an apprentice at Ballina before moving to the Gold Coast, first won the Iris Nielsen race on Epic Terra in 2013.
It was the last year the race was restricted to female riders only.
Queensland jockey Hannah English and Harrison were the only female riders in the field of 12 yesterday.
Casino jockey Kasie Stanley was due to ride the Stephen Bennett-trained Dictatorship before it was scratched.
Harrison has made the Northern Rivers her own recently, taking out the 2015 Ballina and Lismore cups.
She never met Nielsen but her mother and former jockey Beverley Want had a long association with Nielsen before she died after a race fall at Lismore in 1988.
"It's a very special race and I'm really happy to win it again," Harrison said.
"I always heard Iris was a real role model and looked out for the younger girls.
"I know it was tough in the sport for mum and Iris back then, and I really appreciate what they've done for us today."
Another leading Brisbane jockey, Jeff Lloyd, also rode at Ballina and had a win in the Cav Security Maiden Plate (1600m) on three- year-old mare Rare Air.
Ryan Wiggins and Matthew McGuren each rode three winners.
Racing will return to the Northern Rivers on Friday, January 29, with another TAB meeting at Ballina.