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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: February 8, 2024: FORMER champion jockey Jeff Lloyd has taken over the management of Hawkesbury apprentice Zac Wadick.

Wadick’s master, leading trainer Brad Widdup, confirmed the move today.

“Jeff does a terrific job with his son Zac (last season’s champion Sydney apprentice), and I’m sure he will be great for our Zac as well,” Widdup said.

Wadick, who transferred from Taree trainer Glen Milligan just after Christmas, is focusing on provincial racing for the remainder of the season.

He has six rides at Newcastle on Saturday, including the Widdup pair Dawla (F&M Benchmark 64 Handicap, 1200m) and Treasurer (CG&E Benchmark 64 Handicap, 1200m).

Wadick has won on both stablemates recently. He landed a first-up victory on Dawla at good odds at Wyong on January 18, and Treasurer was also resuming when successful at Gosford on December 31.

The 21-year-old has ridden 38 winners this season, and is only nine short of a maiden “century”.

Jeff Lloyd can be contacted on 0423-339672.

Meanwhile, Widdup clinched his 26th winner of the season when Noble Tess ($4.60) broke through in a Provincial Maiden Plate (1600m) at Wyong today.

Widdup’s sole instruction via his foreman Andre Rabbett to jockey Chad Schofield was to give the three-year-old filly “plenty of room”.

Not only did Schofield do that, but earned deserved plaudits from the trainer after seizing the initiative and taking off on the filly approaching the 800m when the pace slackened to ensure odds-on favorite and fellow Hawkesbury representative, Jason and Lucy Attard’s Irish Anthem ($1.85), did not get a picnic up front.

Noble Tess and Irish Anthem fought it out between them in the straight, with Widdup’s filly edging out the favorite in the closing stages.

“The ride certainly won the race,” Widdup said.

“Chad feels Noble Tess will handle further than 1600m, so we will have to wait and see.”

A daughter of Lonhro and dual Group 2 winner and four times Group 1 placegetter Gallant Tess, the filly was bred by Summertime Thoroughbreds principal John Cordina.

“John does a terrific job, and is a fantastic supporter of our stable,” Widdup said.

Widdup has two representatives – Art’s Alive (Reece Jones) and Bella Khadijah (Sam Clipperton) – in Saturday’s $2m Inglis Millennium (1200m) at Royal Randwick.  

He also has Tintookie (Kerrin McEvoy) chasing another city win in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m) at the Randwick meeting.

Tintookie beat last Saturday’s Rosehill Gardens 1200m record breaker Our Kobison at Randwick on January 6 before the talented Gosford sprinter turned the tables at Rosehill a fortnight later.

Whilst Widdup is pleased with the mare’s progress, he is not considering tackling the Provincial Midway-Championships with her, even if she wins at the weekend.

“I won’t try to stretch her out to 1400m; 1200m is her limit,” he said.

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