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  • Provincial Racing NSW


IT’S a fait accompli!

Today’s now abandoned final heat of the annual Rising Star Series, which was to be run at the postponed Taree meeting, had no bearing on the outcome, with Anna Roper already crowned the 2024 champion.

The talented Wyong apprentice, who was due to ride $51 outsider Patagonian for Newcastle trainer Paul Perry in the Benchmark 58 Handicap (1000m), has an unbeatable lead.

With 35 points (including three winners and two seconds), Roper is nine points ahead of Kembla Grange apprentice Olivia Chambers.

The 21-year-old’s Rising Star victory caps a wonderful comeback after being sidelined for eight months until the closing days of last season following a freakish accident at Muswellbrook in November, 2022.

Roper had made a blazing start to her career, scoring at her first ride on now retired Alpha Go at Gundagai on April 3, 2022. She rode a further 56 winners until the accident, joined Wyong trainer Damien Lane on her return and got straight back into the winning list at her first day back, scoring on fellow Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan’s Penfold Park at Kempsey on July 29 last year.

Roper had ridden 54 winners this season, taking her career tally to 111.

She also was leading the NSW apprentices’ premiership, narrowly ahead of last season’s champion Sydney apprentice Zac Lloyd.

Roper becomes the fourth Rising Star winner of her sex in the last five years, following Jenny Duggan (2019 and 2022) and Mikayla Weir (2021).

RacingNSW did not declare a winner in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roper was to have five rides at Taree, also partnering Uncaged (Kristen Buchanan), Jeune Dreamon (Julie Lynch), Corvette Prince (Wayne Wilkes), and Tellemalie (Adam Duggan).

Scone apprentice Cobi Vitler, who rode a double at Walcha on Friday (including the Cup on Danza In The Dark), was to ride today's final heat favorite Antisocial for his master, trainer Brett Cavanough.

. The Rising Star Series leaderboard is:

Anna Roper 35

Olivia Chambers 26

Ben Osmond 23

Amy McLucas 23

Zac Wadick 22

Mollie Fitzgerald 18

Story John Curtis, February 10 - Pics Bradley Photos

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