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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


MONDAY: January 10, 2022: HAWKESBURY’S two popular husband and wife training partnerships may well have created NSW history by winning races on the same program at Newcastle’s Beaumont track today.

And with cast-offs from Sydney stables to boot.

Mitch and Desiree Kearney kicked off by winning the opener with Lady Shenanigans ($12), and five races later Jason and Lucy Attard scored with Mirror Model ($7.50).

Such a remarkable feat is believed to be the first occasion husband and wife partnerships have won two races at the same race meeting in New South Wales.

Team Kearney equalled last season’s eight winners in just over the first five months of the current season when bargain buy Lady Shenanigans (Serg Lisnyy) broke through in the CG&E Maiden Handicap (1350m).

A $300,000 Gold Coast yearling purchase in 2019, the now Zoustar four-year-old did not race for leading trainer Chris Waller, and was put up for auction through Inglis Digital last April.

Desiree Kearney, always looking for a bargain, bought him for $1750.

“We knew Lady Shenanigans had undergone a throat operation and also had surgery on a hock,” Mrs Kearney said.

“But he was worth a punt.

“He tries very hard, and it’s encouraging to take a horse like him to the races knowing he will put in.

“Whilst he is sound and has shown no signs of lameness with us, he is unable to breathe properly and that has undoubtedly restricted him winning more races.

“It was such a gutsy win today, and terrific to see him break through.”

The Kearneys took both Lady Shenanigans and recent placegetter Magic Talent to Orange last Friday, believing they had two good chances.

“We arrived at the track and walked the horses before the meeting was called off late,” Desiree Kearney said.

“Fortunately, we also accepted with Lady Shenanigans for today’s meeting at Newcastle.”

Making today’s victory even more special was that the Kearneys own Lady Shenanigans themselves, and the $12,280 first prize boosted her earnings to nearly $26,000.

Team Attard clinched its third winner of the season, but co-trainer Jason’s better half Lucy wasn’t trackside to witness Mirror Model bolt home with the Class 1 Handicap (1350m).

“Lucy had not seen her family in England for a couple of years, and her trip home to see them for Christmas was certainly overdue,” Jason Attard said as he prepared to leave the track to head home after his mare had been swabbed after winning the race.

“But she set her alarm to be sure she watched her win.

“Even though she is away, Lucy has continued to communicate with our owners, so it’s more of a working holiday.”

Mirror Model, a daughter of Golden Slipper winner Sepoy, was an $80,000 yearling purchase at the Gold Coast in 2019 and was initially trained by Richard and Michael Freedman, who won a 1600m Maiden with her at Nowra in September, 2020.

She had been resold that month – again online through Inglis Digital – for $3250.

After three more starts for the Freedman brothers, she was transferred to Matthew Dunn, who started her twice at Grafton and Murwillumbah before joining the Attard stable at Hawkesbury last year.

“Lucy leased her from the owner, and a lot of our owners agreed to join her in the lease,” Jason Attard explained.

“Mirror Model is a mare who likes to roll, and doesn’t like it when her momentum is halted.

“Ash Morgan gave her a great ride today (she scored easily from last-start winners Mauricently and Hadouken, both $7 chances).

“Mirror Model raced in Lucy’s colours, so it was a fantastic result to see her win her second race.”

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