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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


WEDNESDAY: November 9, 2022: LIGHTLY-raced Duke Of Gordon hit winning form again at home today – and has earned another crack at city company.

The Dissident four-year-old has been a superb performer for Randwick trainer John O’Shea’s second stable at Hawkesbury, and made it three career wins since being transferred there earlier this year.

Brilliantly ridden by Tommy Berry, Duke Of Gordon ($4.80) defeated Recondite ($7) and $4 favorite Czar in the Pioneer Services Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).

“The move out to our Hawkesbury stable with this horse has been very successful indeed,” O’Shea said this afternoon.

“The quieter environment suits him, and he can go out in a paddock during the day.

“Now that he is in winning form again, he can go back to town for the second Canterbury Friday night meeting in just over a fortnight.”

An $80,000 New Zealand yearling buy in 2020, Duke Of Gordon is out of an unraced Giant’s Causeway mare Miss Cosimo, who was exported to New Zealand in December, 2017.

After having his first start at Goulburn in October last year, Duke Of Gordon was switched to O’Shea’s Hawkesbury stable earlier this year and won successive races at Wyong over 1600m on heavy tracks in April.

He was having his second start this preparation today after an eye-catching first-up fifth in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m) at Hawkesbury on October 20.

Duke Of Gordon’s victory was O’Shea’s fourth from his Hawkesbury team this season, and he has promising Savabeel three-year-old Saveadateforme chasing a hat-trick in Saturday’s Group 3 NJC Spring Stakes (1600m) at Broadmeadow on Saturday.

Duke Of Gordon has raced only nine times, and ran well at both his previous city attempts after his Wyong double.

He ran third over 1550m on the Kensington track on May 18, and then fifth at Canterbury on June 8 before going for a break.

Whereas his first two wins were on “Heavy 10” surfaces, Duke Of Gordon showed he is just as comfortable on firmer ground today by scoring on a “Good 3”.

. Newcastle six-year-old Awesome Lad ($1.80 favorite) cemented a berth in the $150,000 Sky Racing Summer Provincial Series Final (1600m) at Hawkesbury on December 15 by winning the second heat today.

Unfortunately, locally-trained Lemaire, a well backed second favorite, was withdrawn at the barrier when he could not be loaded, reducing the 1500m Class 5 Plate to only four runners.

Nash Rawiller got off the canvas to win on Awesome Lad after he had been dislodged from Don Luigi, which stumbled leaving the enclosure for the previous race.

Rawiller was cleared to ride Awesome Lad and had to shake him up approaching the home turn to chase the leader Sonic Tycoon ($7.50).

Once he picked up the bit and hit the front in the straight, he stretched out strongly to end a run of five minor placings, easily defeating $31 outsider Shaka Rock and Five Crowns ($6).

The second and third placegetters also join the winner in gaining starts in the December 15 Final.

Racing NSW stewards advised Lemaire’s co-trainer Phil Vigouroux that the gelding would have to barrier trial to their satisfaction before racing again.

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