SUNDAY: February 9, 2020: IT could hardly have been a better weekend for Hawkesbury co-trainers Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard.
A first-up victory at Newcastle yesterday with recent acquisition Red Notice and around 200mm of rain at their Grose Vale farm put broad smiles on their faces.
“To win first-up with Red Notice after getting him only five or six weeks ago and then to receive such good rain was fantastic,” Jason Attard said today.
“The dams on the farm are full, so it’s all good news.”
Red Notice ($11), partnered by apprentice Tom Sherry, enjoyed a nice run in transit in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (900m) and overhauled $2.70 favorite Vivaro in the closing stages.
Attard initially intended to resume Red Notice at Kembla Grange yesterday, but the meeting was transferred to Newcastle – and the couple was delighted.
“The Kembla race was 1000m, and came back to 900m when the meeting was transferred,” Attard said.
“It was only 100m, but it suited us as Red Notice was fresh and we knew they would run along.
“We didn’t want him to be dug up and over-race.
“Everything worked out really well.”
Team Attard, who took out a joint licence at the beginning of the season, have now won three races, including a city breakthrough with Cinderconi at Warwick Farm last month. The mare was also their first winner, in the Robert Thompson Cup at Newcastle on December 1.
Red Notice, a lightly-raced six-year-old by Duporth, has now won six of his 19 starts (the first five for his previous trainer Jamie Thomsen, including three in a row at his previous preparation).
The gelding is lucky to be racing at all, having cheated death earlier in his career.
He was a sick horse and was close to being put down. Vets found an abscess in his spleen when they operated before deciding to abort the operation and treat him with anti-biotics.
Red Notice gradually recovered and made a winning return at Nowra in December, 2018 after being off the scene for nearly a year.
. HOOFNOTE: Red Notice is raced by a syndicate headed by former outstanding trainer Bob Thomsen, who won 25 Group 1s from his Randwick base, and was on course yesterday to see his gelding score.
Red Notice races in the same colours as Grey Receiver, with whom Thomsen won the 1982 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm and 1981 and 82 The Galaxy at Randwick.