SUNDAY: April 15, 2018: IT might not have been Winx-like, but Hawkesbury trainer Garry White “wrote” his own piece of history at Orange last Friday.
And now he has set his sights on his home track $1m plus stand-alone meeting on Saturday week.
White clinched a fourth Orange Showcase Cup (2100m) when his smart staying mare Letter To Juliette ($2.70 favorite) decisively beat her rivals in the $65,000 feature.
Afterwards, he announced the next target for her before she has a short break.
“Letter To Juliette will run in the Provincial Stayers’ Handicap at our stand-alone meeting,” White said.
“I’ll get her back for winter racing because she handles wet ground pretty well.”
The Provincial Stayers race over 2100m is a Benchmark 85 Handicap and, Hawkesbury being a metropolitan fixture, carries a purse of $100,000.
Letter To Juliette, given a superb ride by Mathew Cahill, was dominant in defeating Goulburn-trained Mister Marmalade ($4.20) and another Hawkesbury representative, Mitch and Desiree Kearney’s Eerised ($6).
It was a consolation of sorts for her luckless fourth, with Cahill also in the saddle, to Hirokin in the Bathurst Cup (1800m) in February.
Letter To Juliette, a Dane Shadow four-year-old, clinched her third victory and she has been a genuine performer for the stable, also placing seven times from 16 starts.
For a trainer who never has a huge team in work, White’s effort to win four Cup races at the same track is an outstanding performance.
He won the race previously with Aussie Statesman (twice) and Peaceful Joe; the latter also winning the 1985 Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
“Aussie Statesman was owned by myself, Bruce Cox owned Peaceful Joe and it’s great to win my fourth Cup with the mare (Letter To Juliette) for Grahame Mapp,” White said.
White last month chalked up four decades of training for Hobartville Stud’s Mr Mapp.
“I’ve also had three seconds in the Orange Cup, so it’s been a good race for me,” White said.
“I enjoy taking my horses there to race. The layout of the track gives every horse a chance.”
On a good day for Hawkesbury at the Showcase meeting, fellow trainer Scott Singleton also was successful; the double lifting Hawkesbury winners this calendar year to 71.
Singleton won the Benchmark 65 Showcase Handicap (1600m) with another favorite, Base Camp ($3.50).
Making light of his 61kg topweight, Base Camp (Bobby El-Issa) was too strong for roughies Fraternater ($13) and another Hawkesbury representative, Noel Mayfield-Smith’s Deny ($26).
Like Cup winner Letter To Juliette, Base Camp is also a four-year-old (by Mosayter) and has been consistent as well.
This was his third victory and he has also notched five placings from only 15 starts.
Base Camp appreciated a drop back to country company, albeit going up 2kg, on his previous sixth to promising Hawkesbury filly Ridicule in a Class 2 Handicap (1400m) at Kembla Grange on March 24.