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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


TUESDAY: August 9, 2022: AN inaugural Hawkesbury double for Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard and a first time Quirindi winner for Mitchell and Desiree Kearney.

What a day for two of Hawkesbury’s husband and wife training partnerships!

Team Attard landed consecutive races with Kozluca ($14) and Sovereign Express ($4.60) at home, whilst Team Kearney landed the closer at Quirindi with Lady Shenanigans ($2.60).

“It’s our first double and a great way to start the new season,” Jason Attard proudly exclaimed this evening.

“Kozluca got his first win on the board for us, and Sovereign Express made it three in a row, so there was plenty to be excited about.”

A $16,000 online purchase 12 months ago after beginning his career with Chris Waller, Kozluca (Rachel King) did best in a driving finish to defeat Eve ‘N’ Ruby ($10) and $2.10 favorite Mihocek in the XXXX Gold Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).

The Attards decided to buy the now five-year-old because he is a younger half-brother to Psicopatico, with whom they won a 900m Newcastle Maiden in May, 2020.

“Psicopatico had a lot of ability, but was never able to fully show it because of injuries and was retired last year,” Jason Attard said.

“He has now embarked on a different career, and finished second in a recent two-day eventing competition at Tamworth.

“Psicopatico (by Bernardini) was the first yearling we purchased, and Lucy went to the Gold Coast in 2019 to try to buy his half-brother by Exosphere, but he went above our budget and was sold for $200,000.

“He raced three times for Chris and won a 1400m Maiden at Eagle Farm on debut in January last year.

“When we saw he was advertised for the Inglis online sale in July last year, we were keen to get him a second time around.”

Attard said Kozluca’s first preparation for the stable was all about getting to know him, and felt the gelding “didn’t really put in” at his first two runs for experienced jockey Rory Hutchings.

“We decided to try something different, and got Winona Costin to ride him next time at Orange and he seemed to appreciate being kidded to.

“So when he was ready to resume today and Winona wasn’t riding at Hawkesbury, we opted to stick with the girls and booked Rachel King.”

Team Attard has done a tremendous job with Sovereign Express, who defied an amazing betting drift to clinch a hat-trick in the De Bortoli Wines Benchmark 64 Handicap (1800m).

A firm favorite early morning, the gelding got out to start at $4.60, and took another step in his blossoming career by finishing over the top of Reach Beyond ($5.50) and Time Raid ($6.50).

Whilst Kozluca may not have put his best hooves forward for Hutchings, it’s a different story with Sovereign Express, whom he has partnered in his picket fence victories.

But that may be it for the time being.

“We’ll see how he pulls up, but we might give him a little freshen up,” Attard said.

“Sovereign Express has done a terrific job going from a Maiden to a Class 1 and now a Benchmark 64 as his distances have gradually increased.”

. Mitchell and Desiree Kearney made their first trip to Quirindi with three horses – and the nine-hour round trip proved worthwhile.

Serg Lisnyy rode the trio and was placed on Little Red Power ($19) and Magic Talent ($9) before winning the four-horse Class 3 Handicap (1200m) on Lady Shenanigans ($2.60).

“It was worth the trip as all three horses raced well,” Desiree Kearney said en route home.

“There must be something in the air at Hawkesbury,” she added, aware Team Attard had scored a home track double.

Lady Shenanigans has proved a real bargain buy. Another Inglis online purchase in April last year for only $1750, the Zoustar five-year-old has now earned just over $82,000 from three wins and six placings.

“He is so tough and genuine,” Desiree Kearney said.

. Tommy Berry rode Junqueira ($4.40) to victory in the Blakes Marine Metro & Provincial Maiden Hsndicap (1100m) at Hawkesbury, but fell foul of RacingNSW stewards for permitting his mount to shift out near the 200m when insufficiently clear of Diamond Flare (fourth at $4.20), which had to be checked and lost its rightful running.

Berry was suspended; his term to start on Sunday and he can ride again on Friday week.

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