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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: April 2, 2023: BRAD Widdup will put the finishing touches to his Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championship Final team at Hawkesbury on Tuesday morning.

Widdup for the first time will be represented – and with three runners - in the $500,000 Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday on Day 2 of The Championships.

Phearson and Short Shorts qualified by winning respective heats at Hawkesbury on March 4 and Kembla Grange on March 18, and Cross The Rubicon joined her stablemates by finishing second to Acquitted in the Wyong heat over 1350m yesterday week.

“Phearson and Short Shorts will have a good gallop on Tuesday morning at home, but I won’t need to do a lot with Cross The Rubicon as she raced only a week ago,” Widdup said this morning.

“All three horses are in good order going into the Final.

“I’m especially pleased with Phearson. He has grown up this campaign.

“Whilst he doesn’t carry a lot of condition, he hasn’t lightened off at all.”

In an open market, Short Shorts (Alysha Collett) is at $6 with, just behind $5 co-favorites Kayobi and Loch Eagle, who won the Gosford Qualifier and Newcastle Wildcard respectively.

Phearson is at $13, and Widdup expects to confirm a rider tomorrow for Cross The Rubicon, a $71 outsider.

Widdup made it 47 wins for the season in an all-Hawkesbury finish to the Mining & Energy Union Provincial Maiden Plate (1500m) when Vancouver’s Gem ($4.60) edged out Mick Attard’s Missile Max ($8), with the winner’s stablemate Ra Ra Grandpa ($4.20) a first-up third.

But he was resigned to losing the race and watched two replays before Vancouver Gem’s number (10) was semaphored as the winner.

“It was very close and I thought we had been beaten by Mick’s horse,” Widdup said.

“Vancouver Gem is a three-year-old filly and was having only her fifth start, and I think she might get a bit further.”

Widdup trains the Vancouver filly for her North Queensland breeder-owner Joe Rapisarda, and praised him for his efforts with his horses.

“Joe does a good job choosing the stallions for his mares, and then rearing them, so it is always a thrill to win races for him.”

Vancouver Gem was Widdup’s eighth winner of the season at Hawkesbury, and his 32nd career winner at home.

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