Kathy O’Hara continued her stellar recent record in feature races south of Sydney by claiming the Country Motor Company Nowra Cup Showcase (1600m) aboard Jason Coyle’s Vain Elaine on Sunday.
The Sydney-based jockey timed her run to perfection to edge past Steve Englebrecht’s gutsy pacesetter Brogue in her final strides, with Terry Robinson’s local hope King’s Officer in third.
O’Hara had already piloted a double heading into the Shoalhaven City Turf Club’s biggest race.
She earlier saluted on Allan Kehoe trained Yulong Baohu in the DMAX – Built From History Class 1 Handicap (1400m) before linking up with Coyle’s Lady Moochi to win the MU-X – Go Your Own Way Maiden Handicap (1100m).
The treble saw her add the Nathan Berry Medal to the list of achievements she’s been awarded up and down the coast.
O’Hara also combined with Coyle to win the Arrowfield Kembla Grange Classic, then Keith Nolan Classic, on Slightly Sweet at the Illawarra Turf Club in 2015.
She repeated the feat the following year when she piloted Nick Olive’s star Single Gaze to win the same mile event for fillies.
Kembla trainer Paul Murray also had success on the afternoon by taking out the Bede Murray Medal – an award named after his late, legendary horse trainer father.
His partner Michelle Ritchie, a trainer in her own right, took out the Shoalhaven Isuzu Ute Belle Of The South Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m) with Dolly’s Due in a thrilling photo finish.
Meanwhile, Nowra will get the chance to experience Australian racing's biggest prize up close and personal when the Emirates Melbourne Cup tours the country later this year.
Nowra was named as a tour destination at a special event at 2016 winning owner Lloyd Williams' Mount Macedon-based training facilities on Tuesday.
Nowra joins 30 other cities and towns across Australia and New Zealand that will be part of the 15th annual Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour. Shoalhaven City Turf Club chief executive officer Lynn Locke was rapt with the news.
“We’re extremely excited to have the Emirates Melbourne Cup visit Nowra this year to celebrate our special link to ‘the race that stops a nation’," she said.
“The winner of the first and second Emirates Melbourne Cups, Archer, was trained in Shoalhaven.
“We are raising funds in conjunction with the Shoalhaven City Council to erect an Archer Memorial in the city centre and feel the Tour will be a great opportunity to build awareness of our history and our special link with the Melbourne Cup.”