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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: January 9, 2022: THERE was nothing undercover about Italian Informant’s victory at Wyong yesterday.

It was there for all to see as the lightly-raced three-year-old stormed home to easily win the Maiden Plate (1000m), breaking through at his eighth start.

In the process, Italian Informant gave his Hawkesbury trainer Edward Cummings his eighth winner of the current season on the eve of his departure to the Gold Coast today for the annual Magic Millions yearling sales.

Cummings, understandably, was relieved to see his gelding come through with flying colours after rearing as the start was effected on his home track on December 16.

Italian Informant dislodged his jockey Brodie Loy and took no part in the race, and RacingNSW stewards ordered Cummings to satisfactorily trial the three-year-old before he could resume his racing career.

“He’s been a work in progress,” Cummings said last night of his Wyong winner.

“Thankfully, he didn’t injure himself in the mishap at Hawkesbury, other than take a bit of bark off a back leg.

“I put a brow band on him to help settle him, and he trialled nicely at Canterbury five days later to get cleared.

“I kept the brow band on him today, and he was fine in the barriers.

“He jumped well, was given time to settle and swept around the field from last before the turn to win nicely.”

Talented Newcastle apprentice Dylan Gibbons had the mount on Italian Informant, whose barnstorming finish relegated Wyong stablemates Fielding ($2.90 favorite) and Stays On Tour ($31) to the minor placings.

A gelded son of 2016 Hawkesbury Guineas winner Spill The Beans, who died prematurely in Queensland in late 2019 not long after beginning his stud career, Italian Informant is the third foal of Contessa Belle, who won three races – all at Ipswich.

. Cummings had hopes of clinching a Wyong double in the following race, the Benchmark 64 Handicap (2100m).

However, they were dashed when his representative Lava ($9.50) was forced to race wide from his outside barrier in the field of eight, and had to work for the first 800m before eventually getting into second placing behind the leader Alastor in the back straight.

In the circumstances, Lava was not disgraced in battling on to finish fourth, albeit more than five lengths from the winner Barellan Bandit ($4.40), who is in the best form of his career.

Stewards later fined Lava’s rider Lee Magorrian $400 for excessive use of the whip, ruling he had used it 10 times (five more than permitted) before the 100m.

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