It seemed only appropriate that Man Booker, owned by a syndicate of 23 women and ridden by a female jockey, should win the 2017 Bunbury Stakes on Ladies' Day.
Young jockey Jerry Noske looked quietly confident in the mounting yard with Man Booker ($2.70) clearly in great order.
She kept that confidence throughout the race, settling Man Booker fourth and stalking the pace. By the bend, Noske has stoked up to second and never looked under threat in the straight, saluting in the listed feature by 1.5 lengths.
Talented four-year-old Great Shot finished second while last year’s runner up Dream Lifter finished third after a protest from the fourth placed Red Ora and jockey Chris Parnham was dismissed.
The other feature of the day was the Listed Rangeview Stud Classic. Punters and bookmakers narrowed it down to a race of two – Quilista and William Pike against the 2016 WA Guineas winner Variation with Bunbury jockey Damian Lane visiting his hometown from Flemington.
Quilista ($1.60) hit the front early in the straight and kicked away to win by two lengths with Variation flying late despite lugging 59 kilograms to finish second.
Scottish jockey Lee Newman kicked off Sunday’s nine race Bunbury Turf Club card with a double.
He led from start to finish aboard Madam Winks ($3.30) in race one before running down the race two field aboard Reef Keeper ($9.80).
Pike saluted aboard Regal Class ($2.50) in the third by a neck while Fair Nakita ($8.80) and Shaun Mc Gruddy rolled very short priced favourite Amelia’s Love in race four.
Mollie Clark took the Brett Pope-trained Kramden ($2.20) straight to the front in race five and clung on by a head in a rapid finish.
Barzinho ($5.50) and jockey Jarrad Noske swept down the straight from the back of the field in race six to greet the judge by a nose while the perennially unlucky Barry’s Rabbit ($5.90) finally got the monkey off his back in the last race of the day, winning by a half-length.
Racing returns to Bunbury on Thursday with the running of the 2017 XXXX Gold Bunbury Cup.