WEDNESDAY: September 14, 2022: BRAD Widdup was confident Short Shorts could run well first-up at Warwick Farm today, but not so confident about upsetting favorite Cinderella Days.
Such is the unpredictability of racing that $2.50 hotpot Cinderella Days was a late withdrawal at the barrier – and there was no stopping Widdup’s nippy mare as a result.
Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Short Shorts ($11) showed her rivals a clean pair of heels in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1300m) against her own sex.
Facing the starter for the first time since early May, she posted her third victory from seven starts in defeating Vivid Flash ($5) and Miss Madison ($41).
“Both Short Shorts recent trials (second at Warwick Farm on August 15 and successful at Gosford a fortnight later) were good, and I was expecting to be very competitive first-up,”Widdup said this evening en route home.
“But I wasn’t certain she could beat Cinderella Days, who is unbeaten from two starts, is trained at the track, and had a recent Warwick Farm win under her belt.
“It was obviously disappointing for her connections, but that’s racing.”
Widdup’s wife Milissa races Short Shorts in partnership with her breeder, New Zealander Mark Fraser-Campin, a close friend of the trainer.
Nothwithstanding her success first-up, Widdup isn’t shooting for the stars at this stage with Short Shorts.
“She is a nice filly, and I have liked her from the time she came to me, but we won’t be aiming too high just yet,” he said.
“I’m sure there is more improvement in her, and we’ll look for another suitable race in the coming weeks.”
. Widdup is yet to decide whether his classy mare Icebath will have her third start this preparation at Newcastle on Friday or Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Icebath is a $3 favorite for the $200,000 Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) against her own sex at Newcastle, but one of the outsiders at $23 for the $1m Group 1 wfa George Main Stakes (1600m).
Despite earning $4.3m (including a win in the inaugural $2m The Invitation against her own sex at Randwick last October and four placings at racing’s elite level), she is yet to put a Group victory on her record.
“I will talk with the owners tomorrow night and make a decision where we run,” Widdup said.
Rain is forecast for Newcastle tomorrow, which undoubtedly would boost Icebath’s chances of contesting the Tibbie, given her status as an accomplished wet tracker.
Short Shorts’ rider Kerrin McEvoy has been booked for the Tibbie, but has taken the mount on Hinged in the George Main, and Widdup is yet to confirm a jockey for that race.