SUNDAY: April 26, 2020: BRAD Widdup clinched Hawkesbury’s 100th winner of the season at Gosford yesterday, and added to it with another success at Goulburn today.
But he was understandably rueing another luckless result with his underrated filly Icebath in yesterday’s Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Group Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
For the second time in a fortnight, misfortune again greeted the Sacred Falls three-year-old, who was badly inconvenienced soon after the start and settled a clear last, then remarkably recovered to finish third.
That came on top of her second to Indy Car in the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Day 2 of The Championships when she was badly held up for a run at a crucial stage in the straight and got clear too late.
Her trainer says enough is enough and is pulling up stumps with her for the time being.
“Icebath is going to the paddock tomorrow,” Widdup said this evening on his way home from Goulburn races.
“She has certainly been unlucky at her last two runs, and I was really impressed with the manner in which she hit the line yesterday after conceding a big start.
“There are plenty of nice races for four-year-old mares, and I’m sure there is further improvement in her.”
Widdup made it wins in the first three races for Hawkesbury trainers (Mitch Newman won the opening two) at Gosford yesterday when Liam’s The Boss ($4.40) broke through in the Maiden Plate (1900m).
Positively ridden by Mitchell Bell to put him into the race by the home turn, The Factor three-year-old finally managed to greet the judge ahead of his rivals at his 10th start – and his trainer breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thank goodness,” he said. “Liam’s The Boss has been a frustrating horse in that he has run well in better class races, and hasn’t been able to win until now.
“But he has some good form around him, and I’m sure there is also further improvement to come.
“I haven’t definitely decided, but I might also stop with him and look further ahead as, with Brisbane’s revised winter program, there aren’t any feature middle-distance races for three-year-olds.
“If I do keep him in work, he will have only more start before going out.”
Hawkesbury’s leading trainer made it 28 wins for the season when $21 chance Louder also broke through, at Goulburn today, in the Maiden Handicap (1200m) against her own sex.
Rider Koby Jennings brought the All Too Hard filly to the centre of the track in the straight, and she finished strongly to run down $3.40 favorite Miss Keira, who looked certain to score when she reached the front.
Louder, who was having her fifth start, fetched $30,000 at the 2018 Inglis Classic yearling sale.
”David and Alison Hush put a group together to race the filly and sent her to me,” Widdup said.
The couple operate Davali Thoroughbreds at Luskintyre along the Hunter River, and presented its first yearling draft in 2015.
“We’ve taken our time with Louder and didn’t race her as a two-year-old,” Widdup explained.
“She is a nuggety little filly who I feel will manage up to 1400m.”
. Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Terry Croft has a knack of winning races with “cheapies” – and did it again at Bathurst yesterday.
Croft landed the 2YO Handicap (1100m) with $15 chance Watch Me Sizzle (Winona Costin), the second longest priced runner in the race.
The Sizzling gelding was purchased for only $3500 at last year’s Scone yearling sale.
Watch Me Sizzle was having only his second start and relished the drop in class from his debut 11th on the Kensington track on April 15 when he started at $151.
Croft does not have a big stable and does a terrific job with his team. Watch Me Sizzle was his eighth winner this season, bettering the seven he trained in each of the previous two seasons.