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Scott Mcglynn
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Three winners in a single day is an excellent achievement for an apprentice

Alisha Donald put in the miles on Saturday and was well rewarded with a treble of winners, all at different tracks.  

News Insights

  • Awful fall at Toowoomba in December
  • First apprentice to achieve the feat
  • 18-hour day well rewarded
  • Finished at her home track of Toowoomba

Ten years ago, Brad Stewart rode winners at three different tracks in a day. On Saturday, Alisha Donald matched that feat, becoming the first apprentice jockey to do so. She rode a winner at each of Ipswich, Esk and Toowoomba. 

A nasty fall at Toowoomba in December left Donald with a bleed on her brain, and she had to take a couple of months away from the saddle to get back to full fitness. She returned to the saddle quickly, and her determination to succeed was seen to significant effect on Saturday as she raced around Queensland to produce a remarkable afternoon. 

Ipswich, the first winning track 

The second race at Ipswich on Saturday was a benchmark 65 handicap. For most punters looking at the betting sites, it will have been a relatively nondescript race, and no one will have expected it to be the start of a most remarkable day in the 12:49 contest.  
Donald finished third on her first ride of the day at over 2200m and showed adaptability regarding riding over different distances, as her winner came over the 800m distance. There is no time to make a mistake when riding in a race over such a short trip, and Donald made sure that her mount saluted for Pat Webster.  
That’s three winners from nine runners of late for Webster, so they are a stable to note at Toowoomba on Saturday with five noms at the time of writing. Webster only became a full-time trainer in 2022 after mixing it with a job in construction, moving to Toowoomba at that time. With three seasons in a row and a strike rate of 20% or higher, he is a trainer worth considering at the smaller tracks.

The day’s second winner was at Esk 

It’s around 70 km from Ipswich to Esk, about a 50-minute drive, so Donald was at the track in plenty of time to ride one in the third race and came home last. Race four at 4:10, however, was a different story as Gypsy Power broke his maiden at the 8th time of asking in a 1200m contest. 
Gypsy Power’s dam didn’t win until two months shy of her 4th birthday, and she went on to be a 75-rated mare, so there is time for him to improve. However, he has been a roughie in his starts, so this win will need to turn things around for him. 

Onto Toowoomba for the final port of call  

Donald is based in Toowoomba, so it was an hour’s journey back home for rides at Toowoomba, which included the winning one in the 7:36. At $3.50, That’s An Extra was the shortest odds of the three winners that Donald rode and was arguably her best chance of a winner looking at her rides at the start of the day. 
Donald set off in front and judged the pace perfectly as the three-year-old filly made a winning debut. Pat Webster also trained her to make it an excellent day for his stable. 
By a Doncaster winner in Kermadec and out of a 1300m winner, the 1000m distance was going to be on the short side for That’s An Extra, so it was an intelligent ride to send her to the front and ensure a proper race at the distance.  

It takes a crazy commitment to even attempt to ride at three meetings in one day, let alone salute on winners at each! Alicia Donald is the first apprentice to achieve that feat, with the 25-year-old now sitting on 117 winners for her career so far.