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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


Updated: Jul 25, 2022

SUNDAY: July 17, 2022: HAWKESBURY has declared joint winners of both the jockeys and apprentices’ premierships.

Tommy Berry and Rachel King could not be separated with 15 winners apiece in the senior title, whilst Reece Jones landed a winner at today’s final meeting of the season to share the junior title with Tom Sherry.

Whilst Sherry has concluded his apprenticeship, before becoming a senior jockey he rode five winners earlier in the season - the same as Jones, who won the opening event, the Thank You Hawkesbury SES Maiden Plate (1800m), on Count On Me ($3 favorite) to tie that number.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott clinched the trainers’ premiership with 14 wins, holding off James Cummings by a solitary win.

Brad Widdup was the leading local trainer, with eight winners at the track during the racing year.

Hawkesbury Race Club chief executive James Heddo announced the dual winners of the jockeys and apprentices’ premierships, confirming there would be no countbacks to determine outright winners.

“We will wrap up the season by making presentations to the various winners at our Pioneer Services Rowley Mile meeting on August 18,” Heddo said this evening.

The Listed $185,000 Rowley Mile, one of Hawkesbury’s historic feature races, carries a $185,000 purse and highlights the first of the Provincial Showcase meetings in the new season, with minimum prizemoney of $50,000.

Sherry, who rode 10 overall winners at Hawkesbury in 2021-22, and his former master, last season’s leading Hawkesbury trainer Mark Newnham, took the honours at today’s season closer.

They teamed for a double in consecutive races, landing the Hawkesbury Helping Hands F&M Maiden Handicap (1300m) with Silvakia ($5) and CG&E Maiden Handicap (1300m) with King Adviso ($3 favorite).

Reliable Man two-year-old filly Silvakia was making her debut, whilst King Adviso was having his fourth start and was runner-up at his previous start at the same track on June 30.

However, Sherry’s day was soured when RacingNSW stewards charged him with careless riding twice (in the first two races). His suspension begins on July 24 and expires on August 7, when he may resume riding.

. Hawkesbury trainer Claire Lever continued her outstanding season and ended a great week by winning the Godolphin Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m) with Soloist ($8.50).

It was her 16th winner (and 22nd in just under two seasons of training), and followed a city breakthrough at Warwick Farm last Wednesday with the consistent Highly Desired.

Jockey Kathy O’Hara’s clever front-running ride, controlling the pace, enabled Your Song three-year-old Soloist to defeat $3 favorite Mihocek, who finished well but had to make up too much leeway.

Mihocek was badly crowded between two other runners soon after the start and had to be steadied. As a result, he settled much further back than expected.

A $28,000 Inglis Classic yearling sale purchase in 2020, Soloist made it two in a row, having bravely landed a Benchmark 58 Handicap (1425m) at Moruya on July 1 on heavy ground.

He has now earned just over $71,000 (including a BOBS bonus) for his connections.

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