WEDNESDAY: March 29, 2023: IT was a double with a difference – and it all happened within the space of 20 minutes!
Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer holds a dual thoroughbred and greyhound licence and won with Rita May ($13) at Warwick Farm at 5.15pm and 18 minutes later with Misled ($5) at Richmond greyhounds.
The multiple Group 1 winning thoroughbred trainer has been having a good run at the dogs with his small kennel, and was thrilled to return to the winning list in town at the gallops, especially with Rita May.
“We have had a terrific trot at the dogs over the last five weeks and won a 320m Maiden with Silent Money ($5.50) at Richmond last Wednesday,” Frazer said as he was about to leave Warwick Farm.
“We had two starters there today and Silent Money ($5) ran third earlier in the program before Misled won.
“I watched her race on my phone after Rita May won, so it turned out a pretty good day.”
The long-standing Hawkesbury trainer wasn’t surprised about Rita May’s winning burst in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m), but the four-year-old mare’s price did indeed surprise him.
“I couldn’t believe they bet $17,” he said. “She was a $5 favorite in a similar race at Warwick Farm a fortnight ago and had no luck (RacingNSW stewards reported she was slow to begin and then soon after was crowded between runners).
“In fact, she has been a very unlucky mare.”
Rita May finished determinedly out wide on the track and nabbed Prince Invincible ($14) to post her fourth victory at her 14th start.
It was her first success in town; her previous three wins all being on the provincial circuit – and on good tracks.
“I wasn’t concerned at all about her handling the heavy ground today and, even though she drew wide, it wasn’t a disadvantage to be out there,” Frazer said.
“She deserved a city win, and it was great to see her finally do that today.”
A daughter of Xtravagant, Rita May is the first living foal of the All American mare Datable, who ran fifth in the Gimcrack Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick in 2013 on debut, and won a Quirindi Maiden (1100m) the following year before being retired to stud after only seven starts.
Rita May races in the white, purple star and hooped sleeves of the iconic White family, for whom he won the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville in 2019 with Spright.