SUNDAY: May 24, 2020: IT’S been a quiet season in terms of both starters and winners for Garry Frazer.
But Hawkesbury’s multiple Group 1 winning trainer has lost none of his skill, as evidenced by his success at Muswellbrook today with a horse having his first start for him.
Frazer produced an outstanding training performance to score in a sprint race with a five-year-old gelding, whose previous two victories from 21 starts were over middle distances.
A $21 chance and with talented apprentice Mikayla Weir on board, Hendo’s Magic was having his first start since finishing fifth of seven runners in an 1800m Class 2 Handicap on his home track in late October.
It didn’t matter that he was tackling a much shorter 1280m first-up in the Benchmark 66 Handicap, as he powered down the outside to defeat Rubble ($6) and I Wear Prada ($15).
Quite a contrast to his earlier victories over 1870m at Newcastle and 2125m at Cessnock, both in 2018.
Previously prepared by fellow Hawkesbury trainers Mitch and Desiree Kearney, Hendo’s Magic has been with Frazer for a few months.
“The owners asked me if I would take the horse, and I decided to train him differently,” Frazer explained this afternoon.
“I wanted to keep him sharp by giving him short sprint ups.
“We have jumpouts at Hawkesbury on Wednesday morning, and I gave him a couple of those to get to know more about him, and then backed off.”
Frazer didn’t trial Hendo’s Magic in preparation for his return, but opted to substitute winkers for blinkers for the Muswellbrook assignment, anticipating he would be sharp for a first-up tilt.
“He had a couple of gallops in the blinkers, and I sent him to the races today expecting him to run well.
“I was delighted with his performance. It certainly wasn’t a surprise, and on that showing, he can definitely win again.”
Hendo’s Magic was Frazer’s third winner of the season from only a moderate number of starters.
His stable star, Group 1 winner Spright, was retired at the end of last season and is now in foal to Zoustar.
It’s always difficult – more often than not impossible – to find another horse such as her, but Frazer is looking to the future with confidence.
“I’ve got some nice young horses coming through,” he said.
. Frazer’s success 20 minutes after Brad Widdup scored with Islands at Goulburn lifted to 110 the number of winners prepared by Hawkesbury trainers so far this season.