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Hoop Lenton after first TAB winner in Cairns

The apprentice riding ranks on the North Queensland circuit is set to receive another boost when rookie Kelsey Lenton makes her riding debut on the TAB circuit at Cairns on Monday.

Hoop Kelsey Lenton is indentured to Townsville trainer Georgie Holt and has ridden four winners from only 22 rides on the non-TAB circuit since making her debut at Bowen last month.

The 22-year-old is hoping to follow fellow apprentice Tyler Leslight, who broke through for his first TAB winner aboard the Olivia Cairns-trained Fire King at Mackay last week.

Lenton cut her teeth competing in barrel racing and rodeo before finding a job as a stable hand in Townsville, which eventually led to an apprenticeship.

She has two rides for Tolga trainer Sharlee Hoffman at the non-TAB meeting at Mareeba on Saturday before making her debut on the TAB circuit at Cannon Park in Cairns on Monday.

Her first provincial ride will be the Holt-trained Norah in the Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1500 metres.

She will then ride Hoffman's pair Cupid's Son in the Class 6 Handicap over 6 1⁄4 f and Nice Retort in the Benchmark 65 Handicap over 950 metres.

It would be only fitting if Norah becomes Lenton's first TAB winner for her boss, Holt.

Norah is coming off a last start win over 6 3⁄4 f at Mount Garnet on April 30.

If Lenton misses out on Norah, Hoffman is hopeful with both Cupid's Son and Nice Retort.

Cupid's Son is chasing a hat-trick of wins after Lenton was successful on the five-year-old at Mount Garnet on April 30.

"Kelsey rode Cupid's Son very well when she won on him last start at Mount Garnet and he should go well again," Hoffman said.

"I like Kelsey as she listens and is willing to learn.

"Nice Retort ran second at Cairns last start over 4 3⁄4 f which is not really his go but we've had a few setbacks with him because of the weather so he's back in a 950 race.

"He's a better horse this campaign and I think he's a real good chance."


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