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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: April 14, 2022: MULTIPLE Group 1 winning Randwick trainer John O’Shea’s second stable at Hawkesbury is off to a flying start.

Lightly-raced Dissident three-year-old Duke Of Gordon ($2.60 favorite), the only horse so far to have raced from the Hawkesbury barn, broke through in the Maiden Handicap (1600m).

Given a perfect ride by Willie Pike, Duke Of Gordon sat behind front-runner John Of Lancaster ($31) before taking over on the home turn, then was never threatened down the running.

He comfortably beat $31 outsider Preferred Choice and Blackall ($4.20), following on from two good runs for the stable since being based at Hawkesbury.

An $80,000 New Zealand yearling purchase, Duke Of Gordon was having only his fourth career start.

Hawkesbury trainer Brooke Somers, who is looking after the O’Shea team, said the gelding struck a heavy track at Goulburn over 1400m on March 11 when resuming and his effort to finish fourth was really pleasing.

“Then he ran a super third at Scone over 1600m 18 days later when just run down by the first pair in the closing stages after hitting the front,” Somers said.

“With those two runs under his belt, we expected him to be hard to beat today.”

Somers has a few horses of her own in work at Hawkesbury, and also 24 in O’Shea’s barn under her care.

“John has a mix of horses here,” she said. “There are some three and four-year-olds, but predominantly two-year-olds.

“He has young and enthusiastic staff here, and today’s result was a great team effort.

“We expect to have more runners in the coming weeks.”

. O’Shea’s success with Duke Of Gordon was his 55th overall winner so far this season, and the 110th prepared by Hawkesbury trainers.

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