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  • John Curtis


THURSDAY: July 15, 2021: LONG-TIME Hawkesbury trainer Garry White is finishing the season with a flourish, and before it ends might even try to sneak a midweek city victory with today’s Gosford winner War Cabinet.

The experienced White clinched his 10th winner of the season – only the third to reach double figures behind Brad Widdup (34) and Edward Cummings (13) – when War Cabinet ($3.70) easily accounted for hotpot Game Theory ($1.75) in the four-horse Class 1 Handicap (1600m).

It was his sixth success, including the Orange Cup and two city wins with Brown Thomas, since mid-April.

War Cabinet, a lightly-raced five-year-old by Camelot from the Redoute’s Choice mare Leanders Choice (who died last August), is only now starting to realise his potential after sustaining a serious injury when on debut at Kembla Grange in February, 2019.

He was placed in a 1300m Maiden Plate but injured his near front foot in an incident during the race and, though he was subsequently placed at two of his four starts after returning from a break, his trainer knew he wasn’t right.

“His coronet band kept troubling him, so I got a blacksmith to cut the problem area out and let it grow back,” White explained.

At his first run since last September, War Cabinet broke through in a 1300m Maiden on his home track on June 13, and his trainer was confident he would have been hard to beat in Hawkesbury’s final race of the season last Sunday – only for the last three races to be called off when heavy rain fell during the fifth event.

“War Cabinet has had only 10 starts as a result of his early injury, and is a progressive horse,” White said his evening.

“I’m sure he will get even further. I might even try him in a midweek in town if I can find a suitable race.

“Rachel King rode him today and was very pleased with him. He went straight and was strong through the line, and is starting to put it all together.”

White also trained War Cabinet’s dam Leanders Choice, who won two of her only six starts.

“She had the worst front legs you could ever see, but was sound,” he said.

White had a tremendous opinion of the mare’s third foal, the now retired Generalissimo (by Dream Ahead), who won the 2017 Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Royal Randwick during The Championships.

“He was genuine Group 1 material, but unfortunately tore a muscle in his rump and had a wind problem.”

White has Generalissimo’s so far unraced three-year-old sister Leanders Dream, and also Leanders Choice’s last foal, a colt by American Pharaoh, who is being broken in.

“His stable nickname is Joe Biden, and he is a nice horse,” White said.

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