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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: March 10, 2022: LUCK hasn’t been all that kind to Devil Racer – and Brad Widdup thought it was going to happen again today when he was bailed away on straightening at Canterbury.

But when his rider Tom Sherry was able to shoulder him into the clear around 200m from home in the Maiden Plate (1550m), he quickly put the issue beyond doubt.

A $12 chance and having his 10th start, the three-year-old son of Artie Schiller surged away to score by more than three lengths from Nyika ($17) and Nano Star ($5).

Widdup, understandably, was delighted to see Devil Racer break through for Summertime Thoroughbreds’ owner John Cordina, who raced the 2017 Victoria Derby winner Ace High (now at stud in New Zealand).

“John came along at the right time, and has been a good supporter of the stable,” he said this evening.

“Devil Racer was a bit of a b….early in his career, but has been a lot better since he was gelded.

“He has been knocking on the door, and hasn’t had a lot of luck in some of his races.

“I thought he was going to be out of luck again today, but fortunately things turned around when it mattered.

“He is improving, but still a bit green and has a way to go before he is the furnished product.”

The RacingNSW stewards’ report illustrates the merit of Devil Racer’s performance.

“Devil Racer began awkwardly and, on straightening, was steadied when awkwardly placed on the heels of Spitfire,” stewards noted.

“Then he had trouble securing clear running until approaching the 200m where he shifted out and made contact with the hindquarter of Aircraftman ($2.35 favorite, who finished fifth).

“Over the final 50m, Devil Racer shifted out abruptly, resulting in him not being fully tested.

“A post-race veterinary examination revealed the gelding to have lost his off-fore plate during running.”

In the wash-up, Tom Sherry was cautioned by stewards to exercise more care, and Aircraftman’s rider Hugh Bowman pleaded guilty to not riding his mount out to the end of race, and was fined $300.

Devil Racer was leading Hawkesbury trainer Widdup’s 34th winner of the season – only two short of last season’s tally.

. Widdup has booked Melbourne jockey Ben Melham to ride Icebath in Saturday week’s $5m All-Star Mile at Flemington.

Icebath will be floated to Melbourne next Thursday night, getting the chance to avenge her slender defeat in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes over the same course at that track last October.

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