A treble for apprentice Melanie Bolwell at Tamworth today while Peter Cleal lands overdue win with One Tin Soldier

TAMWORTH apprentice Melanie Bolwell collected a career-first treble at Tamworth today with wins aboard Poet’s Trick for Stephen Dixon, One Tin Soldier for Peter Cleal and Kevin Dixon’s Wanda’s Girl.

And while the young 3kg-claimer celebrated well – she has tomorrow off – at the other end of the age scale, veteran trainer Peter Cleal scored a long overdue win with One Tin Soldier.

Poet’s Trick ($2.80fav) led throughout to score by three lengths from From the Valley ($8) and Captain Scott ($8) in the 1200m Shay Brennan BM-63 Handicap.

The gelding was Bolwell’s seventh win since starting with Sue Grills earlier this year.

Her first winner came at the Walcha Cup carnival but her recent riding has been interrupted by a two-month “spell”.

“I got kicked by a horse,” she said.

Bolwell had partnered Poet’s Trick at Moree and Muswellbrook and was delighted with his effort.

“He loves the wet, and needed that run at Muswellbrook, too.”

Bolwell made it a running double when the young 3kg-claiming apprentice grabbed her eighth career win on One Tin Soldier ($6) in the Advanced Inland Security BM-55 Handicap (1000m).


Veteran trainer Peter Cleal landed an overdue win at Tamworth today with One Tin Soldier.

It was a contrast in ages as the apprentice jockey led all the way on an eight-year-old gelding trained by 79-year-old veteran trainer Peter Cleal.

For Bolwell it was her second race double in a short career, which soon became a career-first treble when Wanda’s Girl won the Class 1-Maiden Plate (1600m).

Like her win on Poet’s Trick in the previous race, One Tin Soldier led all the way.

“That’s the place to be,” she said.

Cleal nodded his approval.

“One Tin Soldier doesn’t race well when he gets back in the field,” Cleal said.

“Two years ago he led all the way and won at Bundarra,” he recalled.

“He’s a bugger of a horse to ride too, because he hangs a bit.”

Cleal has had One Tin Soldier “from day one”.

“He was broken in by Robert Clement. Won four for me now, had 11 seconds, too, and three thirds. He’s always been thereabouts, too. I was going to put him in the paddock but I’m glad I didn’t – he’s been up for quite a while, more than a year.”

Just where he goes now, Cleal isn’t sure.

“Wherever I can find a weak one,” he laughed.

Bolwell was all smiles when she made it three winners for the day aboard Wanda’s Girl in the JR Richard and Sons Class 1-Maiden Plate (1600m) for Kevin Dixon.

Wanda’s Girl ($10) held on to win by a half-head from Split the Atom ($3.80) with Sakhumzi ($4.20) eight lengths away third.

Meanwhile, Maddie de Belle had her first start for Scone trainer Greg Bennett at Tamworth today and romped to a decisive win in the Freight Specialists Maiden Plate (1000m).

While Greg Bennett was in Sydney for an Off the Rails special interview, stable foreman Tina Eveleigh was in charge at Tamworth and delighted with what could have been a debut, and a farewell, all at the same time.

The daughter of Bernardini had been trained by Gary Portelli but was sent to Greg Bennett earlier this month.

Words: Geoff Newling

Pic: Bill Poulos