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.
Nanjing Night Net

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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