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WIDDUP MAKES A "BIRD" OF BATHURST TRIP

MONDAY: September 30, 2019: HAWKESBURY’S leading trainer Brad Widdup put an end to an exasperating month when lightly-raced filly Birdy broke through at Bathurst yesterday.

Ridden by Widdup’s brother-in-law Christian Reith, the well supported Birdy ($3.90) beat her own sex in the Showcase Maiden Handicap (1200m) at only her third start.

Widdup has endured nine minor placings since Nevada Sunrise (Keagan Latham) – his third winner in five days - scored at the same track on August 26.

“It’s been a frustrating month,” Widdup said today. “The horses have been racing well, but things just haven’t gone our way and that can happen, of course.

“It was good to see Birdy break through. She can get a bit hot at the races but was excellent yesterday and raced accordingly.”

Birdy (by Dawn Approach) is one of two three-year-old fillies Widdup trains for Newhaven Park – and he has now won with both.

The other is Parlour (by Delago Deluxe), who scored on her home track at Hawkesbury in June.

“I’m very appreciative of the Kelly family entrusting me with two nice fillies,” Widdup said.

“I took Birdy to Bathurst to try to give her a bit of confidence by winning a race and, being a Showcase meeting, it was good prizemoney.

“I’m sure there is further improvement to come from her.”

Birdy gave Widdup his fifth winner of the season, and she was the 102nd of his career.

She has pulled up well, and is likely to chase another victory – also against her own sex – at Newcastle on October 15 in a Class 1 Handicap (1300m).

Birdy performed well in two trials at Warwick Farm in August and had backing at good odds when a first-up ninth to Sangria in a Maiden Plate (1100m) on her home track on September 12.

“She got run off her legs that day,” Widdup said. “The winner ran a track record and scored again in a Benchmark 64 Handicap at Canterbury last Wednesday.

“Also, in the Bathurst race following Birdy yesterday, the winner (Al Kaphero) and runner-up (Haunting Spirit) also came out of the Hawkesbury race.”

Promising fillies Akari and Darling Point were two of Widdup’s placegetters this month. Akari, third to Libertini in Listed company at the Scone Cup carnival in May, resumed at Wyong last Tuesday and ran an excellent second to Regimental Band, who was runner-up to Libertini at Scone.

Darling Point, who broke through at Hawkesbury on August 22, also raced at Wyong last Tuesday and finished a close third to Famous in a Class 1 Handicap (1350m).

Widdup has decided to spell the Lonhro three-year-old, and is confident she will return a better filly.

He is also looking forward to getting his talented sprinter Sandbar back to the races in the near future.

The Snitzel four-year-old, who was runner-up to Sesar in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick 12 months ago, hasn’t raced since March.

Sandbar, who has a Timeform rating of 116, finished third to Kapajack in an Open trial (807m) at Warwick Farm last Tuesday, and will trial again at Gosford next Tuesday.

“We’ll see where we are going with him after that trial,” Widdup said.

Sandbar gave Widdup his first two black type victories last year when successful at Warwick Farm in February and Rosehill Gardens in August.