THURSDAY: May 23, 2019: HAWKESBURY trainer Wade Slinkard had only one runner on his home track today, and jockey Robbie Brewer had only the solitary mount.
But they made the most of it, teaming with runaway Gleam Chemicals Australia Provincial & Country Maiden Plate (1300m) winner Banjo’s Voice.
The Poet’s Voice three-year-old defied a betting drift to start at $17, and led home a Hawkesbury trifecta, romping away to score easily from Mal Johnston’s Scarpa ($15) and Brad Widdup’s Parlour ($9).
Slinkard became the 22nd Hawkesbury trainer to enter the winning list this season – and it was also his first success since Stradazzle ($1.50 favorite) beat four rivals over 2600m at Gosford on July 28 last year.
Fancied pair Royal Monarch (heavily backed $2 favorite) and Breaking Cover ($2.90) were left in Banjo’s Voice’s wake, finishing 10th and fourth respectively.
A post-race veterinary examination revealed Royal Monarch was displaying cardiac arryhthmia, and stewards ordered a veterinary clearance, including results of an ECG, must be produced before he trials again to their satisfaction.
Brewer, a hard worker who restricts his rides to higher weighted horses, described Banjo’s Voice as “something of an enigma”.
“Early on, we thought he would make a midweek horse because he works so well on the track,” he said this evening.
“Banjo’s Voice trialled great (he beat another Hawkesbury winner today, Killer Instinct) at Hawkesbury last month at the start of this preparation, and we expected him to run well first-up.”
Banjo’s Voice finished ninth to Destorner in a Maiden Plate (1100m) when a $7 chance (Breaking Cover ran second on debut in the same race).
Stewards reported the gelding was trapped wide from the 600m, but Brewer did not use this as an excuse.
“He was disappointing then, and we decided to ride him quieter this time,” he said.
“I felt a long way out he was going to be hard to beat when he was semi-relaxed, but he’s still doing a few things wrong.”
Stewards reported Banjo’s Voice shifted in abruptly under pressure approaching the 100m.
It didn’t stop him, however, from romping away to score by more than four lengths at his 11th start after two earlier placings.
. Slinkard’s maiden victory this season was the 132nd for Hawkesbury trainers since August 1.