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  • John Curtis


FRIDAY: April 30, 2021: BRAD Widdup isn’t letting his heart rule his head!

Hawkesbury’s leading trainer has named Adelong as his best chance tomorrow of landing his first feature success at his home track’s stand-alone meeting.

And that is despite the fact one of Adelong’s opponents in the Listed Hawkesbury XXXX Gold Rush (1100m) will be stablemate Switched, who is raced by a ladies’ syndicate which includes his wife Milissa.

“The Gold Rush has always been on the agenda for Adelong from the time she came back into work,” Widdup said this morning.

“She has a terrific second up record (two wins from three starts), and I wanted to get a run into her leading up to this race.”

Adelong, who has won six of her 13 starts, had some support ($41 to $26) on resumption when ninth, after leading, to Fasika in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 17 on Day 2 of The Championships.

“I thought her run was god because she was on the inferior inside section of the track in the straight, and was beaten just over three lengths.

“There’s no doubt she has taken improvement, and the 1100m is going to suit her better as her record indicates.”

Five of Adelong’s six wins have been at 1100m, and she is currently a $9.50 chance with

Keagan Latham rides Adelong, and Grant Buckley partners Switched ($23).

Switched has won four and been placed 10 times from 17 starts, and also has taken improvement from a first-up interstate assignment when fifth to Cordilla in a Benchmark 84 Handicap (1100m) against her own sex at Caulfield on April 10.

Both Widdup mares have drawn well – Switched jumping from the inside barrier and Adelong from the five gate – but their trainer wishes it was the other way around.

“My concern is that Switched will get cluttered up,” he said. “But if she can get a crack at them in the straight, I’m sure she will be competitive.”

Widdup, who has been training at Hawkesbury for four years and won with his first starter (Junglized on Canberra’s ACTON track on May 26, 2017), has prepared 162 winners to date.

He also starts Calgary Queen (Kathy O’Hara) in the $200,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Group Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m), and Akari (Buckley) in the $175,000 Group 3 Killahy Equine Hawkesbury Crown (1300m).

Calgary Queen is a $23 chance behind dominant favorite Ellsberg ($2), whilst Akari is one of the roughies at $81.

Calgary Queen, a lightly-raced Real Impact filly, has won two and been placed twice from five starts and goes into the Guineas in splendid form.

“Her last run was really good at home when second to I Say Hello (subsequently placed in the Group 3 JHB Carr Stakes at Randwick last Saturday),” Widdup said.

“It was her first run in six weeks since beating the same filly at Newcastle.

“Calgary Queen raced wide at Hawkesbury and the winner got a rails run in the straight to beat her.

“That race was 1300m, so the 1400m of the Guineas doesn’t bother me at all.

Widdup concedes Akari needs to find her best form to win the Hawkesbury Crown, but points out her lead-up trackwork has been excellent.

“She has drawn awkwardly, so we’ll ride her quietly and hopefully get some luck when it matters to perhaps snatch a placing.

“Most likely Akari will race through until the end of the season and then be retired to stud.”

. Other local trainers with acceptors tomorrow are Garry White, Jason and Lucy Attard and Terry Croft.

White has Orange Cup winner Brown Thomas lining up in the Living Turf Benchmark 78 Handicap (1800m), and Winds Of War (Mathew Cahill) in the Hawkesbury Guineas.

Team Attard has Cinderconi in the Hawkesbury Crown, but Jason Attard this morning said a final decision had not yet been made as to whether she would take her place in a very strong field.

Croft is sweating on a couple of scratchings to enable second emergency Testa’s Flower to gain a start in the Gold Rush.

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