FOR as long as she remains in the saddle, Easter Saturday will always hold special significance for jockey Melinda Kinny.

The teenaged apprentice had her first winning ride at Coffs Harbour on the weekend when she guided Rum Maker to the line in the Ainsworth Game Technolgy Handicap.

"I haven't been around too long and have only had about 30 rides so far," she said.

"There've been a couple of placings but it's a real thrill to finally break through."

While the diminutive Kinny struggled to unsaddle the big chestnut she was happy to outline her future plans. "Ride lots of winners," she said.

"I want to go right to the top and yes, try to win the Melbourne Cup."

Kinny is indentured to Grafton veteran Jack Gallagher and the maiden victory came courtesy of another Clarence Valley-based trainer, Kevin King.

"The horse tried to pull a bit and didn't want to settle," Kinny said. "Instead of holding him up when he wanted to race, I let him go. He was flying when he went past the others near the line."

Meanwhile, Coffs trainer Damien Cahill had a long overdue change of luck when Vulcanus overcame bad barrier manners to win the IGT Australia Maiden Plate.

The Irish-born Cahill only has a handful of horses in work but his patience and persistence has paid off with the gelding winning his first race at his 26th attempt. "He's been with me since late last year and I've probably given him six starts," Cahill said.

"This race was ideal and he won well."

Vulcanus was a conspicuous last after missing the start but was quickly kicked up behind the leading pack by apprentice Daniel Baker.

Momentarily held up for a run, Baker managed to extricate the gelding when leader King Sterlo began to tire and drove him through the opening gap.

Shinkabar held on for second without taking ground off the winner while equal favourites Gran Del Val and Per Ulrik disappointed.

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