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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: April 28, 2022: RURAL life is obviously agreeing with Duke Of Gordon.

The lightly-raced Dissident three-year-old, a member of Randwick trainer John O’Shea’s second stable at Hawkesbury, made it two wins on end at Wyong today.

Despite facing only four rivals, Duke Of Gordon ($1.70 favorite) again showed his liking for heavy ground and made short work of them in the Class 1 Handicap (1600m).

Jockey Willie Pike made sure he didn’t let the $4.20 second favorite and leader Shorebreak get too easy a time up front and kept right on his hammer from the 600m.

It was obvious approaching the home turn that Duke Of Gordon was the horse to beat, and he put a gap between himself and his opposition in the closing stages, scoring by more than four lengths.

Placegetters Allthehills ($11) and Launch Attack ($16) tried hard, but weren’t in the race against the hotpot.

O’Shea was on course, having won the previous race with Irish-bred mare Awesome Wonder (also ridden by Pike), who was making her Australian debut under his Randwick banner.

He told Sky Thoroughbred Central after Duke Of Gordon’s victory that it was a nice result for the gelding’s Go Racing New Zealand ownership group.

A son of the Giant’s Causeway mare Miss Cosimo, Duke Of Gordon fetched $80,000 at Book 1 of the 2020 NZ Bloodstock Karaka yearling sale.

“To be fair, we never thought he would put two together like that,” O’Shea said.

“But he had improved a bit since his last run, and was more relaxed today.

“He is a progressive staying horse of the future.”

Pike also rode Duke Of Gordon when he broke through in a 1600 Maiden at Wyong a fortnight ago.

Both his victories have been achieved on “Heavy 10” tracks. Today’s win was in the fifth race and the meeting was called off after only one more race was run.

. O’Shea will run Berdibek (Hugh Bowman) and Kirwan’s Lane (Tom Sherry) in Saturday’s $200,000 Group 3 Richmond Club Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).

Berdibek is resuming, whilst Kirwan’s Lane ran fifth to Melbourne visitor Our Playboy in a Benchmark 100 Handicap (1400m) on a Randwick “Heavy 8” on April 16 on resumption.

Both horses have started previously at Hawkesbury. Berdibek won the Listed Rowley Mile there last August before also winning the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m), and Kirwan’s Lane ran fourth to Steely in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1500m) at the corresponding stand-alone meeting 12 months ago before winning second-up over the same distance at Rosehill Gardens three weeks later.

O’Shea intends also heading to the $200,00 Listed Scone Cup (1600m) on May 13 with both horses.


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