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  • John Curtis


THURSDAY: August 19, 2021: THERE were a few reasons why Brad Widdup took extra pleasure at continuing his new season momentum at Hawkesbury today, clinching his seventh winner in the first three weeks.

It wasn’t only that Hawkesbury’s leading trainer was able to get costly yearling purchase Tycoon Hallie off the mark, but also that she is raced by his very supportive clients B K Racing & Breeding and their racing manager Ben Vassallo, who outlaid $650,000 to buy her at the 2019 Magic Millions sale at the Gold Coast.

Additionally, Widdup was associated with the then Randwick stable of legendary Kiwi trainer Graeme Rogerson when the lightly-raced mare’s granddam Polar Success (now deceased) won the 2003 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.

A well-supported $2.10 favorite, Tycoon Hallie (Jay Ford) overcame a slow start to break through in the Blakes Marine Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1300m) when beginning a fresh campaign at her second start for her Hawkesbury mentor.

Tycoon Hallie, a four-year-old daughter of Written Tycoon, is the sixth foal of the Redoute’s Choice mare Fiction, who was born in New Zealand.

Widdup took over her preparation after she had been placed on the Kensington track in March, and spelled her after she contested the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) during The Championships at Royal Randwick the following month.

Tycoon Hallie showed promise of better things to come by overhauling Different Strokes ($4.80) in the closing stages, and her stablemate Hayami ($9) also indicated a near future win by finishing fourth after leading, especially as she had to be reshod behind the barrier after shifting her off hind plate en route to the start.

“Tycoon Hallie has been going well, and this was a suitable race to begin her campaign,” Widdup said this evening.

“But I’m not going to make any ambitious plans; we’ll take it a race at a time.

“I feel she will definitely handle 1600m and perhaps 2000m, but that will depend largely on her constitution and holding her together.

“We’ll most likely wait three weeks before running her again in a 1600m Class 1 Handicap here on September 9.”

With seven victories already on board since the new season began on August 1, Widdup is excited to head to town on Saturday with four runners at Royal Randwick.

His Golden Eagle and Doncaster Mile runner-up Icebath (Kerrin McEvoy) resumes in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m), staying find Mr Bond (Jay Ford) steps up to city company chasing a hat-trick in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (2400m), Nags To Riches (apprentice Tom Sherry) is back to Saturday class following an impressive first-up 1100m Kensington victory on August 4, and Vulpine (Ford) resumes in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1100m).

“I’m pleased with where Icebath is at, and expect her to run well but she will improve as she gets further into her preparation,” Widdup said.

“This is Mr Bond’s biggest test, but he is going really well and I feel he can take the next step.

“Nags To Riches has trained on strongly since her Kensington win, and there’s no reason why she won’t be very competitive again.

“Vulpine has come back a stronger mare and she has trialled and worked well. She is at double figure odds, but I’m really happy with her.”

. Stablemate Adelong originally was also to have lined up in the Toy Show along with Vulpine, but Widdup did not accept with her.

“When the race came up pretty strong, I discussed it with her owner and we decided to wait for the Concorde Stakes to kick off her campaign,” Widdup explained.

The Group 3 Concorde (1100m), at set weights and penalties, will be run at Randwick on September 4.

. A superb Brenton Avdulla ride paved the way for Berdibek ($4.60) to land today’s $185,000 Listed Pioneer Services Rowley Mile.

The eight-year-old import downed resuming Queensland Derby winner Kukeracha ($3.40 favorite) and Surf Dancer ($9) at the first of the new Provincial Showcase meetings.

Berdibek clinced his third Australian victory and gave trainer John O’Shea his first Rowley Mile success.

O’Shea is now heading the grey toward the $200,000 Wyong (2100m) and $250,000 Newcastle (2300m) Cups on September 3 and 17 respectively.

. Jockey Nash Rawiller sustained an injury to his right foot, which was jammed in an incident as he was going through the enclosure gate on his mount Fine Ruby prior to the first race.

He was transported to Hawkesbury Hospital, where it was revealed he had suffered an undisplaced fracture to his foot, with an open wound over the fracture.

Rawiller was to go into theatre this evening to have the wound cleaned, and then his foot was to be put in a boot.

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