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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


Updated: Jul 27, 2023

WEDNESDAY: July 26, 2023: IT’S fair to say she blinkin’ well deserved it!

After five city placings, rising six-year-old mare Travelling Kate broke through for her first win in town at Canterbury today – and her trainer Brad Widdup was understandably delighted.

Though not the best into stride at the jump and pocketed for clear running into the straight, Travelling Kate ($3.50 favorite) finished best to land the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1900m).

Jockey Jean Van Overmeire was able to overcome both to get Travelling Kate home ahead of main rival Villaden ($3.80), whose jockey James McDonald did his best to keep her hemmed in when he made his move on the home turn in an attempt to pinch a winning break.

Savabeel five-year-old Travelling Kate began her career in New Zealand, where her dam, the Pins mare A Touch Of Ruby, won the 2014 Group 1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham.

She joined Widdup’s stable two years ago after eight starts in New Zealand, breaking through at Avondale in April 2021 in a 1200m Maiden against her own sex.

In 23 starts for the leading Hawkesbury trainer, she has won three races and been placed 11 times, and finished further back than sixth only once.

“Travelling Kate has been consistent, and also unlucky on a few occasions,” Widdup said this evening.

“I put blinkers back on her this preparation, thinking it might spark her up, and it has done the trick.

“I’m really pleased to get a win in town with the mare for her owner Max Whitby.

“Travelling Kate will go to stud at the end of this campaign, and hopefully we can win another race with her before she is retired.”

Travelling Kate was Widdup’s 59th winner of the season, which has been highlighted by his maiden Group 1 success with the now retired Icebath at Flemington last spring.

He is now only four wins shy of a career 300, and has runners at Kembla Grange tomorrow and Newcastle on Saturday, along with Tintookie at Royal Randwick the same day.

Josh Parr goes back on Tintookie in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m), having partnered her in two excellent placings at Rosehill Gardens on June 17 and July 1.

. RacingNSW stewards later suspended Van Overmeire after winning on Travelling Kate.

He pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge by permitting his mount to shift out near the 300m when insufficiently clear of Olympic Theatre.

But it’s a brief suspension which doesn’t begin until August 2, and he can ride again two days later.

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