TUESDAY: June 25, 2019: SHE is the smallest horse in Brad Widdup’s stable, but there’s no doubting her toughness.
Two-year-old filly Night Flyer justified her odds-on quote by romping away with the Blakes Marine Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m) at Hawkesbury today.
And her easy victory meant a lot to Hawkesbury’s leading trainer as it gave him a breakthrough success with renowned Hunter Valley nursery Vinery Stud.
“The Vinery people are excellent to deal with, and I’m delighted to win my first race for them,” he said.
“Night Flyer is a well-bred filly, and is a pleasure to train.”
Having only her third start, the All Too Hard youngster went to the post as a well-backed $1.65 favorite and provided punters with an ideal start to the meeting.
Though slow to begin, Night Flyer’s rider Christian Reith quickly got her into a perfect position behind the leaders.
Once taken to the centre of the track on straightening, she asserted her dominance and scored by nearly three lengths, leading home a Hawkesbury “first four”.
Matt Vella’s Our Blue Moon ($12) was second, Terry Croft’s Foxy Rocket ($17) third and Garry White’s Breaking Cover ($15) fourth.
“Night Flyer is the smallest horse in the stable,” Widdup said. “She weighed 428kg yesterday and 429kg when she went to the races today.
“I’ve got 10 yearlings in work at present, and she’s smaller than all of them.
“But she is a tough little filly, and enjoys her work.”
Widdup is doing his utmost to get through a tough period through no fault of his own, and admitted he was downhearted when Night Flyer was slowly away.
“I thought it was going to be another case like Darling Point (the talented Lonhro filly who came from last and was narrowly beaten on debut at Canterbury last Wednesday),” he said.
“Thankfully, it all worked out well in the end.
“Putting blinkers on her certainly helped and she handled the heavy track without any problems.
“I’ll give her a few easy days to get over the run, and then make up my mind about her immediate future.
“It is tempting to have a crack at a Saturday race in town whilst she is racing well and the tracks are rain-affected.”
Widdup has spelled both Darling Point and another smart two-year-old filly Switched (also by All Too Hard).
Switched beat Night Flyer at Kembla Grange on May 21 when both youngsters were making their debuts, and subsequently was placed at both city starts, the latest behind boom filly Funstar at Royal Randwick last Saturday.
. Night Flyer was Widdup’s 38th winner this season and her Hawkesbury result wasn’t the only good news Widdup got today. He received a phone call from prominent businessman and successful breeder-owner George Altomonte promising him a horse to train.
Altomonte bred two Golden Slipper winners – Sebring (2008) and Overreach (2013) – at his Corumbene Stud at Dunedoo.