THE race for the ladies’ title took centre stage as the opening day of the two-day Necarne fixture played host to just the second ladies’ open of the season, and with just one such race remaining before the season’s end, the contest was sure to play a big part in deciding the outcome of this season’s title.

Heading into the race, just one win separated the six riders who were on the scoreboard in the category. Maxine O’Sullivan, who held the slender advantage, got the plumb ride aboard Marinero, one of three runners in the five-strong field for local handler David Christie.