THURSDAY: September 9, 2021: GARRY White could only ponder what might have been!
The long-time Hawkesbury trainer ended his home meeting today with a winner – though with an ounce of luck it could have been a treble.
White had to wait until the last of the seven races before claiming a victory with Shadow Girl ($15) in the Living Turf Benchmark 64 Handicap (1800m).
But that came after suffering narrow defeats in the opening two events with Alvin The Bold ($3.10 favorite) and What A Prince ($6).
Alvin The Bold, under his 60kg topweight, was just caught by Notions ($4.40), who carried 5kg less, in the HRC Motel Class 1 Handicap (1600m).
Lightly-raced four-year-old What A Prince, having only his second start, also looked home in the TAB Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1300m) before being nabbed in the dying stages by fellow Hawkesbury trainer Edward Cummings’ three-year-old Three Wise Men ($3.10 favorite).
Alvin The Bold, What A Prince and Shadow Girl all race under the banner of White’s long-standing major client, Hobartville Stud’s Grahame Mapp.
Shadow Girl (Rachel King) began well from an inside draw and enjoyed a cosy run on a solid speed set by eventual third placegetter Microna ($21) before hitting the front in the straight and gamely holding out well-backed $4.40 favorite Just A Brother, prepared by fellow Hawkesbury trainer Terry Croft.
A five-year-old mare by Uncle Mo, Shadow Girl has now won three races and notched six minor placings from only 14 starts.
Her first two wins – at 2000m at Kembla Grange last October and 2100m at Wyong the following month – arose when she was prepared by Anthony Cummings at Royal Randwick.
However, White put the foundation work into Shadow Girl, giving her five trials in 2018-19 before she joined Cummings’ Randwick stable.
“Mr Mapp sent her to Anthony as he won the 2011 South Australian Derby with Shadows In The Sun, who is a brother to this mare’s dam Shadow Miss,” White explained.
“Shadow Girl came back to me earlier this year, and I gave her a good break.
“She has done well to win at only her second run back.
“I might have a crack at the Bathurst Cup with her later in the month.”
The $40,000 Cup (1800m) will be run at the Country Showcase meeting on Sunday, September 26.
. Newcastle trainer Nathan Doyle advised RacingNSW stewards Pride Of Adelaide ($12) would be retired after he tailed the field home in Shadow Girl’s race.
Jockey Sam Clipperton said the gelding hung out for most of the race and, when concerned about his action behind, eased him down over the final 300m.