Chelsea Macfarlane rides double at Queanbeyan

Chelsea Macfarlane took out the Ritchie Bensley Handicap (1000m) on board Meet Miss Dolly at Queanbeyan on Monday. Photo: Rohan ThomsonChelsea Macfarlane topped the honours at the Queanbeyan Race Club on Monday with wins aboard Meet Miss Dolly and Siandra.

Macfarlane, 20, has only been racing for a little more than a year but said her development was “moving along quite quickly”.

“I’ll see where I end up. Whether I start looking to head into town and progress that way we’ll see,” she said.

Macfarlane’s win in the last, a benchmark 55 over 900 metres, atop Darren Bailey’s Siandra ($4 favourite) was no surprise, but steering home the rank outsider Meet Miss Dolly ($25.80) in the class 1 Ritchie Bensley Handicap (1000m) was.

“Siandra is one of the better horses we’ve got in at the moment, we’re thinking about sending her in to the city races [Sydney],” said Macfarlane.

Macfarlane said Joe Cleary’s stable altered Meet Miss Dolly’s preparation to try and help her perform.

“She’s been working really well and we’ve been trying a few different things with her and she flew today. We didn’t gallop her as hard as we normally would, so that must have helped.”

The win by a short half-head over Brockton Punch, with Belleedie a further three-quarter lengths back in third, even shocked trainer Cleary.

“A bit of a surprise, to be honest,” he said.

“She’s had picnic form coming into today but she’s had a nice base into today’s race meeting. It’s a tad unexpected but we’ll take it.

“She was nearly out the gate before her last start and we’ve persevered for another run, so she gets a reprieve.”

Cleary said Macfarlane had earned the right to demand more rides.

“I’m very happy for young Chelsea. She rides in all the trackwork, she’s a great kid and she’s been working really hard,” Cleary said.

Meet Miss Dolly was Cleary’s only winner at his home track.

Terry Guymer’s short-priced favourite Only In Red ($1.50) won its maiden over 1460m.

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