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Queensland poised to extend lead in apprentice title

By Glenn Davis

Queensland is in the box seat to extend its lead in the National Apprentices Challenge which continues at Doomben on Wednesday.

Queensland shot to the top of the table to sit on 14 points when Toowoomba apprentice Baylee Nothdurft was successful aboard Fearhildi in the second round of the series in Perth last week.

Victoria is second on eight points closely followed by Western Australia (7), Tasmania (4), South Australia (3) and Northern Territory (1).

NSW is not competing in this year’s series which concludes with the final two rounds in South Australia and Victoria.

Queensland has a strong representation with Nothdurft, Corey Bayliss, Jag Guthmann-Chester, Jed Hodge, Michael Murphy, Minehiko Shimodiara, Sally Sweeney and Taylor Williams, all representing the State in the National Apprentice Series Class Three Plate (1200m).

Nothdurft hopes to win his second race of the series when he’s legged aboard the Steve O’dea-trained American Genius who is making his Queensland debut.

American Genius started his career with David Hayes in Victoria before having four starts in Darwin where he won a Class Six three starts back in July last year.

The four-year-old son of All American hasn’t raced since beating two home in a Benchmark 70 race at Fannie Bay on August 6 last year.

American Genius has been in work with O’dea for some time and finished third in a recent barrier trial at Deagon.   

American Genius won two races in Victoria in a Benchmark race at Bendigo in December 2017 and a two-year-old maiden at Geelong six months earlier.

Doomben is in the heavy range but American Genius has never raced on a heavy although he has placed on a soft track.

South Australian apprentice Raquel Clark has a strong chance to win a series race following her booking for the Tony Gollan-trained Dream Kisses.

Dream Kisses was formerly trained by O’dea before having her first start for Gollan in August last year.

Dream Kisses is now owned by Glenlogan Park and is yet to win for Gollan in five starts.

The daughter of Dream Ahead is out of the Stakes winning mare Kiss Me Katy and was having her first start this campaign when second to the Toby Edmonds-trained Buck Bay over 1200 metres at Doomben on March 6.

Clark is chasing her 100th winner for the season after landing a treble at Port Lincoln on Sunday.

Gollan also has Wooshka in the race which will be ridden by Victoria’s Teo Nugent.

Racing Queensland webnews   March 19