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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Deni Roberts, one of the State’s best young drivers, landed her first double at a metropolitan-class meeting for 14 months when she won the opening two events at Gloucester Park on Friday night with smart four-year-olds Booraa and Ima Rockabilly Rebel.

She proved a perfect substitute for the two pacers trained by Greg and Skye Bond when she was called into action to replace Ryan Warwick, who was serving a ten-day suspension.

The 26-year-old Roberts positioned both pacers perfectly before bringing them home with strong bursts. She has now driven 276 winners and was pleased to notch her first city-class double since she drove Aly Shar and Always A Dreamer to victory in successive events at Gloucester Park on February 19, 2021.

Roberts got the ball rolling when she drove a patient race behind $6 chance Booraa in the opening event, the 2130m Garrard’s Horse And Hound Pace for mares. Booraa started from the No. 6 barrier and Roberts quickly angled her into the commanding one-out, one-back position while $4.60 chance Unconditional set the pace from the $1.40 favourite Nevermindthechaos in the breeze and $101 outsider Newsletter behind the pacemaker.

Roberts switched Booraa three wide with about 240m to travel and the mare ran home solidly to hit the front about 70m from home and beat Unconditional by just under a length.

“The race was run at a good tempo, and Booraa likes it when they go hard,” Roberts said. “But when she pulled out, she sort of felt like she wasn’t going to get there. However, once she got round the corner she was going to get there quite easily.”

Booraa is by Mach Three and is the first foal out of the Live Or Die mare My Baby’s Laughing, who raced 15 times for four wins, three placings and stakes of $23,804. Booraa, who won at three of her 13 starts in New Zealand, has raced 19 times in WA for seven wins and seven placings.

Ima Rockabilly Rebel was the $3.60 second fancy in the second event, the 2536m Garrard’s Here On Track Pace. He started from barrier No. 5 and settled in ninth position before Roberts quickly had him in sixth place, one-out and two-back, with the $2.60 favourite The Code Breaker setting the pace after having raced wide early and getting to the front after 500m.

Ima Rockabilly Rebel started a three-wide move 700m from home and he fought on determinedly to get up in the final few strides to beat The Code Breaker by a head after final quarters of 27.9sec. and 28.4sec.

“The last half was run in 56.3sec. and he ran home really well,” said Roberts.

Ima Rockabilly Rebel is the first foal out of the Jereme’s Jet mare Judy Jetson, who was retired after winning one minor race in New Zealand from ten starts. Judy Jetson is a half-sister to The Bird Dance, who has raced 45 starts for 23 wins, four placings and $217,124 in stakes.

The Bird Dance had 26 starts for the Bond stable in WA for 15 wins and three placings. He won at two of his five New Zealand appearances and has won at six of his first 14 starts in America.

Roberts kept up the good work when she drove the Bond-trained Mufasa to an easy victory in a 2560m stand at Northam on Saturday night.