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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: December 18, 2022: WHAT a day for the green and gold!

Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup and owners Chris and Lynne Lawlor claimed a two-track double yesterday with a pair of homebreds – one already a proven performer and the other an impressive debutant.

Three-year-old Ausbred Rising Sun ($13) came from last at the 400m to take the Provincial Maiden Plate (1350m) on debut at Newcastle’s Beaumont track, and 15 minutes later Global Ausbred ($10) struck winning form again, in the Benchmark 88 Handicap (2000m) at Royal Randwick.

Widdup’s double took him to 29 winners so far this season (266 overall), and career earnings of his horses to just over $16m in what is his sixth full season of training.

The Lawlors, of International Animal Health Products fame, have been magnificent supporters of a number of Hawkesbury trainers, including Widdup, over many years.

Their horses race in the green and gold Ausbred colours.

In fact, Widdup’s three winners in the past week have all been in those colours for the Lawlors – and all were sired by the brilliant Japanese-bred stallion Maurice, a six-times Group 1 winner.

Ausbred Flirt, a four-year-old daughter of Maurice, made it two wins in a row with another impressive performance at Kembla Grange yesterday week.

Widdup is on a family holiday in the USA (back this week), and stable foreman Andre Rabbett, who has done a superb job looking after the team in his absence, was understandably delighted to clinch a double for the Lawlors.

“They are great supporters of our stable, and it is always nice to win races for them,” Rabbett said this morning.

“Chris is obviously a busy man, but takes a keen interest in their horses and always comes to the track each Saturday morning to watch them work.

“Global Ausbred is such a magnificent horse that Chris has previously described him as an ‘equine Adonis’ and it was good to see him win his fourth race yesterday.

“He paid the penalty by being raised 10 benchmark points for his first-up fourth to Vilana in the Silver Eagle at Rosehill Gardens in October.

“Global Ausbred carried 61kg at his last run when sixth to Mission Phoenix (third yesterday) in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill, and Brad decided to step him up to 2000m and to a Benchmark 88 yesterday to get his weight down 6kg.

“Ausbred Rising Sun has been a very slow learner, and we would have been happy to see him finish off nicely for third or fourth yesterday at Newcastle.

“Whilst we weren’t expecting him to win, it wasn’t altogether a total surprise either.

“He still isn’t concentrating fully in his races, and there is plenty of improvement in him.

“Ausbred Rising Sun’s performance was reminiscent of Ausbred Flirt’s debut win at Newcastle in August last year when she also came from last to score over 1200m.

“Both horses have pulled up well, and Brad will determine immediate races for them when he gets home midweek.”

Global Ausbred is likely to have a crack at the $200,000 Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Randwick on Boxing Day, whilst Rabbett feels Ausbred Rising Sun will have further starts this campaign to help educate him.

The Lawlors purchased Global Ausbred’s dam Ponte Piccolo (the 2005 Keith Nolan Classic winner at Kembla Grange) in foal to Manhattan Rain (the resultant foal was named Ausbred Friend, who never raced) for $35,000 at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter broodmare sale.

Ponte Piccolo also produced the champion Hong Kong miler and Horse Of The Year Able Friend (by Shamardal), but sadly died in November 2019 when in foal to Dundeel, thus Global Ausbred is her last foal.

. Max Lees Classic winner Fire Lane has also pulled up well from her fourth in last Wednesday’s $200,000 Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1100m), and will be nominated for the 2YO Plate (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.

The Hellbent filly at this stage remains on track for the $2m Magic Millions (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.

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