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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


WEDNESDAY: December 14, 2022: MOMACK gave one of Hawkesbury’s younger group of trainers Blake Ryan his first city winner and first stakes representative and placegetter.

Now he is hoping the gelding can give him another important breakthrough by winning his richest race in terms of prizemoney in tomorrow’s $150,000 Sky Racing Summer Provincial Series Final (1600m) at his home track.

This is the first time Hawkesbury Race Club has hosted the Summer Provincial Final, and the track has won it once when Bernie Kelly (then training at Hawkesbury before relocating to Scone) won the inaugural 2018 Final with Bobbing.

Whilst Ryan initially was disappointed with Momack’s draw (he will start from 14 in a field of 15 if the sole emergency Tornado Light doesn’t secure a run), he has taken positives from it and is looking forward to the provincial summer feature with great expectation.

“I’m not saying I’m confident he will win because it is a very open race, but I’m confident he will run very well,” he said last night.

“Momack is as good as he was when just beaten in the Listed Ladies Day Cup over the same distance here in early November, and that form has worked out so well with the winner Kirwan’s Lane also winning the $2m The Ingham at Royal Randwick last Saturday.

“Whilst he has drawn awkwardly, at least he won’t be cluttered up and he is the type of horse who doesn’t like his momentum being stopped.

“We will be aggressive. He doesn’t have to lead, but if something else does, they will be going pretty fast.”

Whilst all Momack’s five wins to date have been on rain-affected tracks, his trainer is not concerned if there is a track upgrade in the morning to a “Good 4” even though he hasn’t won on firm ground, but has been placed six times on firmer surfaces.

“He may be better off on wet tracks at 1400m, but 1600m really suits him on good ground,” Ryan said.

“It enables him to get rolling. He ran second earlier in the year to Shameonus in the Orange Cup Prelude at 1600m on a ‘Good 4’, and that horse won at The Gong meeting at Kembla Grange last month.

“And it was pretty firm when he led and all but beat Kirwan’s Lane in the Listed Ladies Day Cup (1600m) last month.”

Momack ($11 with this morning) ran third to tomorrow’s $4 favorite Bethencourt (prepared by Kim Waugh at Wyong) in the third Gosford heat on November 19 at his latest appearance.

“Our horse meets Bethencourt 4.5kg better this time for being beaten under two lengths,” Ryan said. “Momack stays at 59kg, whereas Bethencourt had the benefit of Anna Roper’s 3kg claim at Gosford, and goes from 56kg to 60.5kg.”

Ryan would dearly like to capture the Summer Final with Momack for Ravenswood Bloodstock’s Phil Pollicina.

“Phil is a fantastic supporter of my stable,” he said. “He has seven horses with me, and we’ve won with four of the five that have so far raced.”

Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup has two representatives in Wyong heat winner Showtime Lady ($9) and Sonic Tycoon ($12).

Kerrin McEvoy rides Wyong heat winner Showtime Lady, and Rachel King rides Sonic Tycoon, who showed plenty of fight when narrowly beaten by Burning Need in the Kembla Grange heat.

Widdup has opted for a gear change on Sonic Tycoon, substituting visors for blinkers.

“It’s a minor change, but sometimes these older horses need something like this to sharpen them up a bit,” stable foreman Andre Rabbett said.

“Sonic Tycoon has drawn the inside and races up on the speed, whilst Showtime Lady hasn’t fared as well but also has enough pace to be close in the run.

“Both are in good order and ready to run well.”

Tara and Phil Vigouroux have consistent mare Izfallingdown ($81) representing them, and Claire Lever (like Newcastle’s Kris Lees with Kembla heat fourth placegetter Ella Te Ama) gained a start with Newcastle heat fourth Diva Bella ($41) when fellow Hawkesbury trainer Brooke Somers did not accept with Wyong runner-up Dream Eclipse.

Jess Taylor rides Izfallingdown, and Jason Collett has the mount on Diva Bella.

Gosford-trained Made By Khan (Andrew Gibbons), who split Bethencourt and Momack at Gosford, was a notable overnight firmer ($17 to $12), and Novocastrian Awesome Lad (who won the Hawkesbury heat for Jason Deamer) is now into $5.50 second favorite from an early $9.50.

. The rail is in the TRUE position, and Hawkesbury course manager Rick Johnston posted a “Soft 5” rating this morning, with every likelihood of an upgrade. The track has received only 5mm of rain in the past week, and nothing in the last 24 hours. A total of 31mm of irrigation has been put on the track in the past week (5mm in the last 24 hours).

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