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  • John Curtis


WEDNESDAY: October 14, 2020: WINNING the Glenn Pickwick Memorial at Warwick Farm today meant a lot to Brad Widdup.

Hawkesbury’s leading trainer clinched his fifth winner of the season when his consistent mare Switched ($3.90) led throughout.

“I knew ‘Picky’ for about 20 years and he used to come and ride work for Kevin Moses when I was working for him at Randwick in the early 2000’s,” Widdup said this evening.

“He was a character and a great bloke, and it was nice to win his race today.”

Former jockey Pickwick, who began his riding career in Queensland before later moving to Grafton and then to Sydney, where he was apprenticed to Neville Begg at Randwick, passed away 12 months ago.

Widdup wasn’t the only person thrilled to win the Glenn Pickwick Memorial (a Benchmark 72 Handicap, 1100m). Switched is raced by a ladies’ syndicate which includes the trainer’s wife Milissa and Moses’ wife Jenny.

Widdup’s decision to book 3kg claimer Tom Sherry proved a winning move. The apprentice’s claim lessened the mare’s weight to 57.5kg and enabled her to find plenty in the straight after having to work early from a wide barrier to secure the lead.

“Tom has been well schooled, and undoubtedly his claim was a big help,” Widdup said.

Switched gave a good kick after straightening and held out $3.70 favorite Let It Pour and $19 chance Mocassin Miss to post an overdue city win – and she certainly deserved it, having been placed at nine of her 10 metropolitan starts.

As those stats indicate, Switched doesn’t know how to run a bad race.

A $110,000 purchase at the 2018 Inglis Classic yearling sale, the daughter of four times Group 1 winner All Too Hard has been unplaced only twice from 14 career appearances, and has been successful on three occasions.

“It was terrific to get a city breakthrough with her today,” Widdup said.

“Initially, I was a bit disappointed with her first-up sixth at Canterbury last month, but she had only the one trial beforehand and just got into the wrong spot in running.

“Also Chat, the winner of that race, ran well when fourth in the Silver Eagle (1300m) at Randwick last Saturday.”

Widdup is uncertain of immediate plans for Switched, but may consider nominating her for the Group 3 Furphy Sprint (1100m) against her own sex at Flemington on October 31 (opening day of the Melbourne Cup carnival).

“Now that she has broken through in town, I’m probably more inclined to find another suitable race for her here as I’m sure she will gain confidence from that success,” he said.

“I’m sure she will get to black type.”

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