MONDAY: February 10, 2020: HAWKESBURY trainer Garry White reckons anything that could go wrong just about has this season.
And he thought his bad luck was going to continue at Bathurst today when he got a phone call from stewards alerting him to the fact that he needed to find a replacement rider for Also Cool in the Class 1/Maiden Plate (1808m).
Christian Reith had been booked for the mare, but couldn’t make her 54.5kg.
Fortunately, White was able to secure Mathew Cahill, one of country racing’s top jockeys with whom he has enjoyed a lengthy and successful association – and it all worked out well.
Cahill took Also Cool ($3) to the front approaching the home turn, and she outstayed $2.30 favorite Eye Will over the closing stages to break through for her first win at her sixth start.
Also Cool (the last foal of the Zabeel mare Zeltrice) was only White’s second winner this season; his first being Paris In May (also partnered by Cahill) at Dubbo on October 4 last year.
Quite a contrast to the previous couple of seasons when he prepared a total of 31 winners.
“We sold about 15 horses who were no longer suited to us, and had two separate viruses go through our stables,” White explained this afternoon.
“And only last week, my major owner Grahame Mapp lost his good mare November Flight, who died at stud.
“She was the dam of Pierata, and also had a sister to that horse at foot which was foaled only a few months ago and had been served again by Pierro late last year.
“But there’s always hope. I’ve got a nice bunch of young horses, and hopefully Also Cool’s win today is the start of better things to come.”
Coincidentally, it was third time lucky for Cahill on Also Cool. He was to have ridden her twice previously at Hawkesbury and Orange, but she dislodged him before the start and was a late scratching on both occasions.
White’s success with Also Cool was one of three winners for Hawkesbury trainers at Bathurst – and two of them arose from late riding engagements.
Jacqueline Greentree clinched her third win of the season when Canberra jockey Kayla Nisbet (who replaced Mitchell Bell) scored on Cosmic Deluxe ($6.50) in the Class 1 Handicap (1108m).
Whilst fellow Hawkesbury trainer Terry Croft carried most punters’ hopes with recent Port Macquarie winner Just A Horse, who started $2.30 favorite and weakened to finish seventh, Nisbet drove Cosmic Deluxe through near the inside to defeat Chevron Prince ($10) and Just Jessie ($3).
Greentree, who also rides work for leading trainer Brad Widdup as well as training a couple of horses, opted to put blinkers on four-year-old Delago Deluxe mare Cosmic Deluxe, an $18,000 purchase at the 2017 Scone yearling sale.
Mitch Newman made it four wins for the season when recent acquisition Make An Offer ($7) landed the Maiden Plate (1408m).
Newman took blinkers off the Encosta De Lago five-year-old, and gave Sky Racing viewers a confident tip beforehand for the gelding.
“If he runs up to his work, they won’t get anywhere near him,” Newman said.
With Chad Lever aboard, the lightly-raced Make An Offer sat right on the speed and was too good for Bizou ($15) and fast-finishing Unloch The Rock ($4).