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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


Updated: Dec 4, 2022

FRIDAY: December 2, 2022: MR Bingo has started at healthy double figure odds when successful at his only two starts to date at Hawkesbury.

He won’t be anywhere near those prices ($21 and $31 respectively) and will have a forced change of rider, but Wyong trainer Rod Bailey says there isn’t any reason why the gelding can’t hit the jackpot again and maintain his unbeaten record at the track on Sunday.

Mr Bingo, a Deep Field four-year-old, is a recent acquisition to the stable and goes into the J&G Excavations & Asphalting Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) on the back of a last start third at Warwick Farm in midweek company, again underrated by punters as went out as a $41 chance.

“Mr Bingo was bred by his Chinese owner Mr Ma, and I trained for him previously,” Bailey explained.

“We had a split, and he came back to me with this horse when he hadn’t won a race, and a couple of others.

“It has been very satisfying to win two nice races.”

Mr Bingo was placed on debut at Port Macquarie 12 months ago, but failed to repeat that in five subsequent starts before being switched to Bailey a few months ago.

“I have trained him as normal, and he had been flying on the track before he had his first start for me, but he must have been a good worker as he started favorite a couple of times at Gosford earlier in the year,” Bailey said.

“But I took winkers off and put a tongue tie on, and I’m sure that has made a difference.

“He still goes a bit fierce, but is definitely a horse on the improve.”

Mr Bingo won an 1100m Maiden at $21 at Hawkesbury on September 29 when on debut for his new trainer and, after finishing sixth over 1200m at Gosford on October 27, went back to Hawkesbury and scored again, this time in a Class 1 Handicap (1100m) on November 9.

Promising Wyong apprentice Anna Roper, who has had an outstanding start to the season, sitting in third place on the NSW premiership with 41 wins, has partnered Mr Bingo in all his four starts for Bailey.

But she was injured in an incident at Muswellbrook races last Friday, forcing Bailey to find a replacement.

He has booked fellow apprentice Jackson Searle, who also claims 3kg and will lessen Mr Bingo’s weight to 56kg – only 1kg above the limit.

“Once you start out with a claiming apprentice, there wasn’t any point switching away from that,” Bailey said.

“Mr Bingo has trained on well since his Warwick Farm placing. He had a nice stretch on the grass at Wyong yesterday, and bounced off the track.

“Hawkesbury is often a horses for courses type track, and he goes well there, so why not go back for another crack?”

Mr Bingo is the third foal of the unraced Big Brown mare Miss Singo. He was passed in for $100,000 at the 2020 Inglis Classic yearling sale, and later in the year again passed in, at $120,000, at the Magic Millions 2YO’S In Training Sale at the Gold Coast.

Whilst only eight horses were accepted for Sunday’s Midway Benchmark 64, it looks certain to be a competitive affair.

Mr Bingo this morning was a $3.20 second favorite behind Alpha Go ($2.80), with Steve O’Halloran’s Hawkesbury-trained Oceans One at $4.80.

Keagan Latham takes over from Hawkesbury premiership pacesetter Rachel King on Oceans One, who broke through at home in an 1100m Maiden on October 22 before finishing third there to Anythink Goes in a Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) on November 9.

Latham also partners early favorite Lady Gold ($3.30) for Hawkesbury trainer Terry Croft in the Buttsworth Industrial Maiden Handicap (1500m).

Croft got on the board this season when Kandos Cosmos scored at Newcastle last Sunday, and will be keen to also get a breakthrough with the Astern three-year-old filly.

Lady Gold has been placed at both runs this campaign; the latest when runner-up to Powerbeel in a Provincial Maiden (1500m) at Kembla Grange on November 12.

With jockeys’ premiership leader King (eight wins so far this season) an absentee, her closest premiership rival Sam Clipperton (six wins) has an opportunity to make up some or all of the leeway.

Clipperton rides Surething To Win (Cunningham Custom Homes Class 1 Handicap, 1500m), Peekays Legacy (JSJ Roofing Benchmark 64 Handicap, 1800m), and Yumi (EME Roofing 4YO&Up Benchmark 64 Handicap, 1300m) for Peter and Paul Snowden, Selhurst Park for Angela Davies in Mr Bingo’s race, and Our Kinsmen (Exact Security Maiden Plate, 1300m) for Joe Pride.

The rail is in the TRUE position, and racecourse manager Rick Johnston this morning posted a “Good 4” rating. A total of 26mm of irrigation (4mm in the last 24 hours) has been put on the track in the past week, and 8mm of rainfall has been recorded, but nil in the last 24 hours.

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