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PR sires 1st & 2nd $60K Riverton Cup L.
30 Mar 2016

Apprentice Sam Wynne is the seventh woman to win Southland's richest race, the $60,000 Riverton Cup.

Wynne, of Christchurch, booted home Miss Three Stars in the Cup (Perfectly Ready) on Saturday to match the win they had in the race last year. The apprentice joins other Cup winning women riders Ashlee Mundy (Borninthestates, 2008), Judy Lawson (Amazing Charm, 2004, McLaskry, 1999, Zansark, 1992), Vicky Roberts (Splash, 1997), Bronwyn Mathieson (Ascot Gold, 1995), Jan Cameron (Motorhead, 1994) and Debbie Kennedy (Native Monarch, 1993, Bloodstone, 1989).‚Äč

Sam Wynne is interviewed by Andre Neill after winning the Riverton Cup.
John Hawkins/Fairfax NZ

Sam Wynne is interviewed by Andre Neill after winning the Riverton Cup.

New Zealand women riders were licensed to ride in races in 1978 and Joanne Lamond was the first to ride in a Riverton Cup in 1979.

Miss Three Stars is the seventh to win two Riverton Cups and the fourth to win back-to-back Riverton Cups. The 2147m race was first held in 1910.

Wynne, 27, said Ascot Park trainer Tommy Beckett had the six-year-old mare in mint condition on Saturday.

"She was blooming, she gave me a great feel at the start," Wynne said.

Miss Three Stars and runner up Motorboat Mike battled out the finish, but bumped each other 75m from the finish. A protest by Motorboat Mike's connections into the incident was dismissed.

"It cost me more than it cost them," Wynne said.


"I had to stop riding for a stride and a half, had to correct and balance up again." 

Miss Three Stars won by a long neck to Perfectly Ready Gelding Motor Bike Mike who has won over $60,000 todate this season, and was edging away at the finish. 

"It's my best win by far. Winning it last year and to do it again this year, makes it more special."

With the 13-hour time difference between New Zealand and Ireland, Wynne's mother, Linda Wynne, of Dublin, get ups in the early hours of the morning to check race results and view race replays involving her daughter on the internet.   

One of Sam Wynne's goals is to be New Zealand's top apprentice this season. She is second on the apprentices' premiership with 38 wins, eight behind Matamata's Shaun McKay. 

"It's achievable, I'll be doing my best."

Ten days ago Wynne suffered a sore hip and concussion in a race-fall at Timaru. The next day (NZ time), her grandfather, John Rogers, died in Dublin.

She had an anxious wait for a medical clearance, which came through on Wednesday night.

Tommy Beckett trains Miss Three Stars for the 11-strong Three Star Syndicate. Its members are the Crooks brothers, James and Paul, of Mosgiel, and Michael, of Dacre, Ken Whitson, John Freeland, Linda Mitchell, Michael 'Moon' Prince, Warren Grant and Marty McArthur, of Mosgiel, Warren Howie, of Lawrence, and Rachael Findlay, of Sydney.

The Crooks' father, Bert, owned and trained the 1978 winner, Off An' On.



Miss Three Stars and rider Sam Wynne are led by part-owner Michael Prince, left, and Jason Beckett after winning the Riverton Cup on Saturday.