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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: February 5, 2023: HAWKESBURY trainer Peter Green was on the “right track” at Newcastle yesterday.

The dual licence holder – he also has a standardbred driver’s licence – Green landed the Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1500m) with heavily-backed favorite Star Mission ($1.95).

It was his second winner of the season – and both have been with the four-year-old Star Turn mare at Newcastle; the first on the Beaumont track last November in a 1350m Maiden against her own sex.

Louise Day has partnered Star Mission in both wins, and gave her a great ride yesterday to hold off Global Encounter ($6) and Destacado ($15).

In fact, she has been aboard in all but one of the mare’s 12 starts.

A 2020 $6000 Scone yearling purchase, Star Mission did not race as a two-year-old and is a much stronger mare this time in work.

“I would not have dreamed of starting her eight times at her first preparation last season, and she raced only four times,” Green said today.

“But she is eating better now, and is holding her condition much better.

“As well as her two wins, she has also been placed on several occasions and is proving a very handy mare for her owners.”

Star Mission looked hard to beat yesterday coming off a last start sixth in a Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on January 21.

Provided she continues to do well, Green will look for another suitable race for the mare in the coming weeks, striving to add to her record.

A former harness racing driver and trainer before switching to the other side of the fence as a steward in that industry, Green renewed his driving licence and has enjoyed some success this season, including a winner at NSW headquarters at Menangle.

“I’ve got eight thoroughbreds in work, and don’t get a lot of time to drive the pacers,” Green said.

“But I still enjoy getting the opportunity whenever that arises.”

. Randwick trainer John O’Shea claimed his eighth winner of the season – and a quinella to boot – from his second stable at Hawkesbury when odds-on favorite Condrieu ($1.65) beat stablemate Premise ($9) in the Maiden Handicap (1400m) at Goulburn today.

Remarkably, the five-year-old daughter of Sebring from a Montjeu mare was having only the second start of her career.

Barrier issues have delayed her entry into racing and she had a suspension placed on her five times between July, 2020 and October last year.

A 2019 $250,000 Magic Millions yearling buy, Condrieu made her debut at the Newcastle Cup carnival last September when third in a 1400m Maiden.

It certainly took plenty of patience on connections’ part as she had trialled on no less than 10 occasions before finally getting to the races.

Condrieu (Reece Jones) showed she will appreciate even further when she ran home solidly to gun down her stablemate, getting that often elusive Maiden out of the way.

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