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Wilson-Taylor leads Queensland's charge in National Apprentice Race Series

By Glenn Davis

Queensland’s hopes of pegging back Victoria’s lead in the National Apprentice Race Series rest with nominated rider Justin Huxtable, however it's the state’s leading young rider Kyle Wilson-Taylor who looks set to star at Doomben on Wednesday.

Wilson-Taylor will need to be at his best to boot home the Scott Morrisey-trained Menindee, who will jump from barrier 13 if the emergencies don’t obtain starts in the Class 1 Plate over 1350 metres.

Three-year-old Menindee has started nine times for one win and two placings, including a last start second to Ready For Magic in a 1300-metre Class 1 at Beaudesert on May 1.

That performance followed his valiant effort to lead all the way when second to Setanta in a 1200-metre Class 1 at Eagle Farm last month.

Wilson-Taylor looks set to for a big day at Doomben, also partnering Motomiss - trained by his boss Lindsay Hatch at Toowoomba - in the 1200-metre Class 3 Plate.

Hatch is hoping it’s third time lucky for Wilson-Taylor, who has ridden Motomiss at her past two starts including a last start second in a 1000-metre Class 3 at the Sunshine Coast on May 9.

“It’s third time lucky for Kyle,” Hatch said.

“He should have won on her at her past two starts.

“Kyle went back on her and to the inside at her first run back from a break at Toowoomba and never had a crack at them when she finished sixth.

“Then at her last run at Caloundra she got too far back before storming home to run second.

“She’s in this race with a big chance of giving Queensland a win in the series.”

Victoria has established a commanding lead in the National Apprentice Race Series, winning the first two heats in South Australia and Tasmania earlier this month.

Victorian apprentice Alana Kelly won the opening heat at Murray Bridge aboard the David Holly-trained Bolt I Am, while fellow Victorian Tatum Bull maintained Victoria’s dominance winning on Signal Hall in Tasmania on May 16.

The wins sent Victoria to the top of the series with 14 points, with Queensland in second place on eight points and South Australia only one point behind in third position.

Queensland is hosting the third leg of the series before it ends at Ladbrokes Park in Melbourne on June 16.

The NARS was first staged in 2008 and is Australia’s premier competition for apprentice jockeys with points awarded in each leg of the series.

The winner receives seven points while five points are awarded to the second horse, three points to the third placegetter while two points go to the fourth horse home.

All unplaced riders received one point each.