TUESDAY: March 17, 2020: THEY had been frustrating their respective Hawkesbury trainers – but turned the corner today and book-ended the program on their home track.
Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard won the opening race, the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m), with Moinda ($7) at her 12th start, whilst Garry White landed the closer, the Weddings At HRC Benchmark 64 Handicap (2000m), with newfound staying prospect Brown Thomas ($41), proving start No 13 certainly wasn’t unlucky.
In breaking through, Moinda (Rachel King) pipped $1.80 favorite Dreaming Of Gold by a nose, relegating the Newcastle mare to her fifth second from as many starts.
Though naturally delighted to get a win on the board with their mare, Team Attard had some sympathy for Dreaming Of Gold’s connections.
“We know how that feels,” said Jason Attard this evening (Moinda had been placed on four occasions).
“Our mare has been frustrating for sure.
“She ran fourth to the top filly Funstar at Canterbury in June last year at only her fourth start, and you would think it would not have taken her long to win a race.
“After she ran sixth at over 1300m at Hawkesbury last Saturday week (Dreaming Of Gold also was pipped on the post in the same race that day by Cathars), we decided to freshen her and come back to the 1100m.
“It seems fresh is best with her, and maybe the shorter distance also helped.”
Fresh is also best with Team Attard’s $500,000 Provincial Championships finalist Munich, who won’t race again until his big assignment on April 11 (Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick).
“We may give Munich a jumpout or a quiet trial just to keep his fitness levels up,” Jason Attard said.
Munich qualified for the Provincial Final with his third to Moana Jewel in the second qualifier on his home track on March 7.
Team Attard notched their fifth winner of the season, and long-standing Hawkesbury trainer Garry White his third when Brown Thomas narrowly outgamed another Newcastle mare Azarmin ($13).
Unlike Moinda, it wasn’t Brown Thomas’ first success; he had won earlier races on his home track in July, 2018 and at Orange in March last year.
But they were both over sprint trips (1300m and 1280m), and his trainer had all but despaired of winning another race with him when a different program altogether became an alternative.
“His dam Light Chance is a Carnegie mare out of our multiple Group 1 winning mare Slight Chance,” White explained.
“And his half-brother Pursuit Of Honour’s four wins were all between 1900m and 2400m.
“When Brown Thomas resumed at Cowra on January 19 over 1375m, it was his first start since last April and he had not trialled.
“I then planned to run him over 1800m at Hawkesbury on February 11, but the meeting was washed out.”
White then started Brown Thomas over 1900m at a Canterbury night meeting on February 28, and was encouraged by his performance even though he finished 10th.
“His run that night was creditable considering he had missed that lead-up race,” he said. “He got tired over the closing stages.
“But the improvement in him since has been terrific.
“I was confident about his chances today. “I told Sam (Clipperton) beforehand that if he rode him well, he could win.
“I’m sure Brown Thomas can go on with it now that we have found he is not a sprinter.”
Ironically, Clipperton rode Dreaming Of Gold when she was nudged out by Moinda in the opening race.
. Team Attard and White’s victories took the number of wins by Hawkesbury trainers this season to 80.