MONDAY: November 18, 2019: THERE was “friendly rivalry” between Hawkesbury trainers Karen Outtrim and Garry Frazer at Bathurst last Saturday.
And it was Outtrim who came out on top when her lightly-raced four-year-old Hidden Ace ($3.60) beat Frazer’s $2.60 favorite Graceful Zarifa in the Maiden Plate (1300m) at the TAB meeting.
“Garry took our horse to the races with Graceful Zarifa, and jokingly threatened afterwards that we could walk home,” Outtrim said this morning.
“He said he would have won the race if we hadn’t been there.”
With Quayde Krogh aboard, Hidden Ace broke through at only his fourth start, rewarding his trainer for purchasing him as an unnamed and unraced three-year-old.
“I bought him online for only $2750,” Outtrim said. “There was a video of him, and he seemed a nice horse. The report said he was sound, so he was worth a gamble at that price.
“He had been broken in, but had never been locked in the barriers.”
Outtrim kept Hidden Ace on her home track at Hawkesbury for his first three starts before deciding he was ready for blinkers, which he wore in his Bathurst victory.
“He was extremely green at his first start, and then gradually improved at his next two runs,” she said.
“Hidden Ace was always going to need blinkers, but I didn’t want to put them on until he was ready for them.
“I had two trackwork riders gallop him in the blinkers on a few occasions, and was confident they would improve him, especially going from the provincials to the country.
“Quayde (Krogh) comes out to Hawkesbury once a week for trackwork, and rode another horse alongside Hidden Ace in work last Thursday morning.
“His manager rang and asked for the ride at Bathurst, and I was happy to put him on.
“He has a great attitude and rode Hidden Ace positively because he can be a laid-back horse.
“There’s no doubt the blinkers helped because he focused much better at Bathurst.”
Outtrim has only a small team in work, and has already won three races this season.
She has just brought Dragon’s Shadow, who won successive middle-distance races on Canberra’s ACTON (synthetic) track (1900m) and at Bathurst (2008m) in August, back into work.
. Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup is now focusing on the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday week with his smart sprinter Sandbar.
Widdup, understandably, was disappointed Sandbar (who was second emergency) did not secure a start in last Saturday’s inaugural $1m The Hunter (1300m) at Broadmeadow.
His recent Rosehill winner is being aimed at the $10.25m Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast on January 11.