TUESDAY: January 8, 2019: HAWKESBURY gelding Undaoaf is no one-track pony.
Formerly prepared at Canberra by Nick Olive, his first three wins were on that city’s synthetic track (ACTON) when he struck a purple patch of form early in the 2017-18 season.
He also ran third in a TAB Highway Handicap (1000m) at Royal Randwick after those victories.
Now with Karen Outtrim at Hawkesbury, the well-named Star Witness five-year-old had no problems with a “Firm 2” surface at Cessnock today to post his first win for his new stable.
In the process, he gave his apprentice rider Jenny Duggan the lead in the Rising Star Series.
Duggan gave Undaoaf ($18) a perfect run from an inside draw, and eased him around the heels of the two leaders on straightening.
He finished gamely to defeat More Chilli ($5) and Better Not Fly ($3.50).
It was an all-girls’ finish as Duggan’s fellow apprentices Louise Day and Cejay Graham partnered the second and third placegetters.
Duggan’s seven points for Undaoaf’s victory in the 12th heat of the Rising Star Series catapulted her to 28 points – five ahead of Graham and Robbie Dolan.
Undaoaf had 61kg when only seventh at Bathurst on December 22 in a Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m).
However, he had run fourth (beaten only one and a half lengths) – with Duggan aboard – at his previous start in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) at Hawkesbury on December 9.
Outtrim’s success with Undaoaf at Cessnock was her third this season; her previous victories were with Captain Americain at Bathurst (September 24) and Anne’s Gift at Bathurst (October 27).
It was also Hawkesbury’s third winner in this new calendar year and 78th for the current season.