MONDAY: June 14, 2021: THERE’S a first time for everything!
Experienced Hawkesbury trainer Garry White wasn’t at Warwick Farm races today, but watched the telecast and was happy his gelding Brown Thomas ($12) had run another consistent race when runner-up in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (2400m).
Correct weight, however, had not been declared and White got a shock when first over the line Admit It ($5.50) was disqualified and his horse was promoted as the winner.
Admit It’s apprentice rider Reece Jones weighed in 1.4kg light and it was subsequently discovered the gelding’s crestfallen trainer Graham Brown had accidentally left a lead bag off when saddling his horse.
Under the Rules of Racing, RacingNSW stewards had no option but to disqualify Admit It and, at an inquiry, Brown pleaded guilty to a charge that he negligently failed to include the lead bag when saddling Admit It and was fined $5000.
Stewards took into account the seriousness of the charge in assessing the penalty, but were satisfied this was a genuine oversight and also had regard to his long standing in the industry and good record.
“I’ve been training for a long time and never won a race that way,” White said. “But it’s not the best way either; I feel very sorry for Graham Brown.
“I thought my horse might have been edged out of second by Kaapfever ($4.80) when they hit the line, so it’s a double surprise.”
White followed up his first-up success with War Cabinet at home yesterday by winning his seventh race with Brown Thomas, who is in the best form of his career.
He bolted home with the Orange Cup (2100m) on soft ground on April 16 then two starts later scored over today’s course in a midweek event at Warwick Farm on May 12 before finishing a good fourth to the promising No Compromise in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (2400m) 17 days later at Royal Randwick.
Jockey Rachel King, in her post-race video report prior to the drama unfolding, told White that Brown Thomas had run “another really super race”.
“I had so much horse under me rounding the turn and he gave a really good kick, but the big weight (60.5kg) on the heavy track got to him in the last 50 metres or so,” King said.
“He probably put even more effort in and tried even harder than when he won here before. I can’t fault him.”
Brown Thomas took his record to seven wins from 26 starts and lifted his overall earnings to nearly $240,000.
Because the Lope De Vega five-year-old is in such good form, White has a healthy problem deciding his next assignment – and he has some options in two States.
“He could go to Queensland for the Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday week or Caloundra Cup (2400m) a week later,” White said.
“Or stay at home for the Stayer’s Cup (3200m) at Randwick on Saturday week (same day as Tatts Cup).
“There’s not a lot of difference going to the next level (open company), and Brown Thomas would come in on the minimum weight.
“Additionally, he is enjoying the soft ground.”
Both Brisbane races are worth $175,000 (Tatts Cup is Group 3 and the Caloundra Cup carries Listed status), whilst the Stayer’s Cup is worth $125,000.
“I feel Brown Thomas will manage the 3200m with little weight if we stay here,” White added. “We’ll see how he comes through this race before deciding which way to go.”
. Brown Thomas was White’s eighth winner of the season and the 114th for Hawkesbury trainers.
. TAB.com.au paid out fixed odds win bets on both Admit It and Brown Thomas.