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  • John Curtis


WEDNESDAY: May 12, 2021: GARRY White was prepared to forgive and forget.

The long-standing Hawkesbury trainer was confident his recent Orange Cup winner Brown Thomas at Warwick Farm today could turn around his latest home track stand-alone failure – and that he did.

Ridden by Rachel King, Brown Thomas ($11) outstayed his rivals in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (2400m), posting the sixth victory of his 24-start career.

After bolting away with the Orange Cup (2100m) on soft ground on April 16, Brown Thomas finished last of 10 runners to the promising import Luncies in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1800m) at Hawkesbury’s feature stand-alone meeting on May 1.

“He just wasn’t there that day,” White said this evening. “He was very quiet, and also I feel there were a couple of other factors which contributed to his performance.

“He was coming back from the 2100m at Orange to 1800m, and it was a very fast run race (they ran a track record 1:47.43).

“Brown Thomas just never got into the zone, and no doubt he appreciated getting his toes into the ground today.”

Brown Thomas held out $4.40 favorite Sound Of Cannons (James McDonald) and $5.50 joint second favorite Feel The Rush (apprentice Louise Day), understandably impressing his trainer.

“He’s not a big horse, and did a good job with 58.5kg,” White said.

“Even though he has won three races on good tracks, it looks as though he is a better wet tracker.”

White felt Brown Thomas (a son of Lope De Vega and Carnegie mare Light Chance) would be best suited over sprint trips earlier in his career, and his first two wins were at 1300m (Hawkesbury) and 1280m (Orange).

But a suggestion from the five-year-old’s owner, Hobartville Stud’s Grahame Mapp, influenced him to try the gelding over further ground.

“At his first run beyond 1400m, he ran 10th at Canterbury over 1900m in February last year,” White said.

“It was a good effort as he wasn’t quite ready for the trip and was beaten only three and a half lengths.

“He came out at Hawkesbury and won for us over 2000m at 50-1 at his next start (beating Azarmin, another Warwick Farm winner today).”

Now that Brown Thomas has struck his best form, White, who notched his sixth success of the season, is eyeing a loftier goal with him.

“We might have a crack at the Winter Cup; it’s not far away,” he said.

The $150,000 Listed Winter Cup (2400m) will be run at Rosehill Gardens on June 5.

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