SUNDAY: July 11, 2021: THE abandonment of the final three races at Hawkesbury today robbed last season’s ground-breaking premiership winner Rachel King of any chance to retain her title.
King, who became the first female to add her name to the jockeys’ premiership honour roll at the provincial track, entered the final 2020-21 meeting two wins behind Jason Collett, who took ill at Royal Randwick yesterday and forfeited his bookings today.
King edged closer when she won the Windsor Rotary CG&E Maiden Handicap (1300m) on hotpot Pending ($1.60) for Hawkesbury trainer Garry White, and had further local hopes Hendo’s Magic (Garry Frazer), Sniper Legend (Matt Vella), and War Cabinet (White) in the last three races.
However, the meeting ended after the fifth race, which was run in heavy rain, when jockeys informed RacingNSW stewards they had concerns both with visibility and horses’ footing during that race.
Thus Collett landed his first Hawkesbury premiership, turning the tables on expatriate English woman King, who beat him by two wins last season.
Keagan Latham rode another winner today, Vanilla Sky ($6) for Gary Moore in the XXXX Gold F&M Maiden Handicap (1300m), to finish third with 13 victories.
Mark Newnham, with 15 wins, clinched his first ever training premiership, six ahead of Kris Lees, Peter and Paul Snowden and Chris Waller.
Newnham’s apprentices Tom Sherry and Tyler Schiller tied for the junior riding premiership with five wins apiece.
White has taken his time with rising four-year-old Pending, who broke through at only his third start.
A younger half-brother to White’s gutsy stayer Brown Thomas (by Lope De Vega), who has done a superb job this campaign and is now having a break, Pending (by Time For War) is the last foal of Light Chance, who died in December, 2018.
Light Chance’s dam, the Centaine mare Slight Chance, who became a wonderful Group 1 performer, passed away only last November.
“Pending isn’t big, but he’s a tough bugger,” White said this evening.
“He keeps improving and I’m sure he will win more races. I’m not sure how far he will get, but I’m confident he will manage at least 1600m.”
White clinched his 10th winner of the season – his 45th in the last four seasons – and was disappointed King didn’t get the chance on War Cabinet in today’s final race to tie with Collett or perhaps edge him out for premiership honours.
“It looked a very suitable race for him; I felt he would have been hard to beat,” he said.
FINAL HAWKESBURY 2020-21 PREMIERSHIP STANDINGS
M. Newnham 15
K. Lees 9
P.&P. Snowden 9
C. Waller 9
B. Baker 8
J. Collett 16
R. King 15
K. Latham 13
T. Berry 12
J. Parr 11
T. Sherry 5
T. Schiller 5
L. Day 2
R. Jones 2