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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: November 9, 2023: Well, life’s on a farm is kinda laid back, as John Denver sang in his “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” 1970s hit.

And Hawkesbury husband and wife trainers Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard are attune to that being exactly the case with Zahdi, their home track winner today.

At her seventh start, Zahdi (Rachel King) broke through in the Fowler Civil Contracting Provincial 4YO&Up Maiden Handicap (1100m) as a $2.60 second favorite, downing the $1.80 favorite Magnatear.

“Zahdi has always shown plenty of ability, but has been real finicky,” co-trainer Jason Attard explained.

“We train her out of a paddock, and it keeps her happy.

“Life on our farm at Grose Vale really suits her.

“Rachel has also been a big help educating Zahdi, and it was fitting that she rode her in her first win.”

A four-year-old daughter of Zariz, Zahdi is a younger half-sister to Knight (by Helmet), with whom Team Attard won a Midway Handicap at Hawkesbury’s Saturday stand-alone meeting last year.

“Both horses were bred by Dubbo’s Colleen Dwyer, and Knight was retired after his last run at Royal Randwick in June,” Jason Attard said.

“He has now embarked on an eventing career with Colleen’s daughter Lucy.

“It would be nice to think we could also win a race with Zahdi down the track at our stand-alone meeting.”

Zahdi was Team Attard’s third winner of the season – and all have been at home.

Central Coast jockey Josh Parr has made a habit of winning feature races at Hawkesbury – and today was no exception.

Parr, who won last Saturday’s $10m Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens on Japanese raider Obamburumai, made it three victories in the Lander Toyota Ladies Day Cup (1500m).

His win on New Mandate ($8) in the $200,000 Listed event followed earlier successes on Tromso and Strawberry Boy in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Both were prepared by New Mandate’s trainer Chris Waller, who won the Ladies Day Cup for the fifth time.

Waller put blinkers on New Mandate, who won the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) in April, but had not win since.

Waller’s triumph with New Mandate over stablemate Skyman ($3.50 favorite), and that of Anderson Bridge ($13) in the Richmond Club Super Maiden Plate (1600m), took him further ahead in this season’s premiership.

He is averaging a winner per meeting at the eight fixtures conducted since the beginning of August.

Parr also clinched a double, having won earlier on Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ Written Tycoon filly Kind Words ($2.30 favorite) in the All Aspects Roofing F&M Maiden Plate (1400m).

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