FRIDAY: October 5, 2018: AN impressive debutant and a “no frills horse” landed a Hawkesbury double at Gosford yesterday, taking the number of winners to 31 this season.
Trainer Brad Widdup clinched his seventh winner since the beginning of the new season when hotpot Rare Episode ($1.35) outclassed his rivals in the Provincial & Country Maiden Plate (1100m).
“He is one of my favorite horses,” rider Christian Reith said afterwards.
“I’m sure he will be better on top of the ground too. He is a beautiful horse and a pleasure to ride.”
Rare Episode is a three-year-old son of 2013 Australian Guineas winner Ferlax, and was a $100,000 purchase at the NZ Premier Yearling sale in January last year, not long after the death of his sire as a result of a paddock incident at Haunui Farm.
Husband and wife Mitchell and Desiree Kearney clinched their first winner of the season with “Mr Consistency” Spin Bowles ($8.50) in the Class 1 Handicap (1200m).
Given a perfect ride by Josh Parr, the former Victorian finished too strongly for $3.20 favorite Lilith and Swift Arrival ($19).
The training duo has done a splendid job with Spin Bowles since taking him over. From nine NSW starts, he has won twice and been placed four times and never finished further back than fourth.
“He is a no frills horse,” Mitchell Kearney explained. “He is super honest; I wish we had more like him.
“Spin Bowles is more competitive when he gets a sit and Josh rode him really well.”
Widdup is looking to Sandbar (Corey Brown) and Za Zi Ba (apprentice Sam Weatherley) to continue his winning momentum at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Sandbar runs in the $300,000 Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) and Za Zi Ba in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m).
A Roman Consul victory would provide Widdup with his biggest success so far in only 18 months of training.
. Hawkesbury’s scheduled Sunday meeting is in doubt, with the track this morning rated a “Heavy 10”.
“It’s still raining here at present (around 9.30am), and we wouldn’t be able to race today,” chief executive Greg Rudolph said. “We’re in consultation with RacingNSW about the fate of the meeting.”