Claire Lever has experienced emotions at both ends of the spectrum over the past six weeks – getting two runners into the $500,000 Provincial Championships Final but also losing one of her greatest supporters – grandmother Pat.
Pat Ambrosoli, wife of legendary racecaller Paul, passed away at 88 on April 2.
“It’s been a really, really tough couple of weeks,” Lever said choking back tears.
“I just wish she could have been there this Saturday. At least she saw both of them qualify, that puts a smile on my face.
“I just hope she puts a length on the pair of them.”
Lever who’s married to jockey Chad Lever, only took out her trainer’s license at the start of this season.
It came after she spent six seasons as a jockey, riding more than 100 winners before hanging up the saddle in 2018.
Claire after riding a winner at Rosehill. Photo: Simon Bullard.Source:News Corp Australia
During her short training career, Lever is striking at an impressive 18.5 percent from less than 30 runners. Her first winner came in November last year.
Her first winner Grace Bay is one of Lever’s two Provincial Championships Final runners along with Diva Belle.
The pair filled the placings in the Hawkesbury qualifier.
“It’s a huge thrill,” Lever said. “I still can’t believe we got two into the race.
“When I started out I was thinking we’ve got a lot of yearlings and two-year-olds. It’s going to be a long couple of years.
“I’ve got 26 on the books and around 20 of them haven’t raced so to get two into the race is extremely satisfying.
“I’m just really enjoying the experience of the build-up and hopefully on Saturday we’ll have a bit of luck.
Sticking solid to the girl power theme, Grace Bay, a four-year-old daughter of Per Incanto (USA), will be ridden by Kathy O’Hara while Rachel King rides Diva Belle, a mare by Reward For Effort.
Bookmakers rate the pair as outsiders with TAB Fixed Odds offering $61 for Grace Bay and $71 about Diva Belle. The $2.70 favourite is the Kim Waugh-trained Great News.
“Hopefully well have more luck on Saturday than we did with the barrier draw (barriers 10 and 17),” Lever said.
“There’s a big field so that should generate a bit more speed which could help my two to overcome the gates.
“Both horses are going into the race fit and well and have had good preparations so with a bit of luck they’ll run as well as they can.”
Originally published asMixed emotions for Provincial Championships trainer
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