Benny Looker rides Sacred Day to victory in Grafton Cup
LEADING Northern Rivers jockey Ben Looker has taken out the coveted $160,000 G McMullan Contracting Grafton Cup aboard New Zealand stayer Sacred Day.
Looker, who learnt his trade at Clarence River Jockey Club as an apprentice to John Shelton, produced the biggest win of his career to claim the 2350m July Carnival feature.
Sacred Day ($13), trained by Tony Pike in Cambridge across the Tasman, held on by 0.4 lengths to beat out Sopressa ($6) out of the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable, and Chris Waller-trained Vaucluse Bay ($5.50).
Sopressa jockey Matthew McGillivray narrowly missed out on the July Carnival feature double after winning the $160,000 GDSC Ramornie Handicap 1200m sprint on Havasay on Wednesday.
It was a change of July Carnival fortunes for Looker who 12 months ago missed his ride on Ramornie Handicap runner up and eventual inaugural $1.3million The Kosciuszko champion Belfyer after he was seriously injured in a race fall earlier in the day.
More to come.