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  • John Curtis


SUNDAY: August 8, 2021: BRAD Widdup had a filly by Japanese star Maurice earmarked on his list of prospective purchases at last year’s Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale.

As it turned out, he didn’t buy her – but got her to train.

All’s well that ends well. Racing as Ausbred Flirt, the now three-year-old filly made a winning debut at Newcastle yesterday.

Widdup trains Ausbred Flirt for Western Sydney-based International Animal Health Products founders Chris and Lyn Lawlor, who outlaid $115,000 to secure her at the sale.

“I liked her on type, and felt she would be in my price range,” Widdup said today.

“But the Lawlor’s agent also had her listed, so I was pleased when they gave her to me to train.

Giving Hawkesbury’s leading trainer his third winner in the first week of the new season, $3 favorite Ausbred Flirt (Alysha Collett) overcame her outside barrier to get on the board immediately.

She defeated Pie Party ($12) and Amathuba ($31) in the Laurie Billett Maiden Handicap (1200m) against her own sex after Widdup had put her debut on hold for almost a week.

“I had her in at Kembla Grange last Sunday in a similar race against her own sex, but scratched her when she drew awkwardly,” he explained.

“Despite drawing poorly again, there was no point missing another race as she was ready to go.

“We’ve been patient with Ausbred Flirt, who is a nice big filly and has always shown us a lot.

“I’ll probably give her a break now, as I feel she has staying potential.

“She relaxes well, and has a good turn of foot as she showed at Newcastle yesterday.”

Ausbred Flirt is the seventh foal of Keltrice mare Seven Year Itch, who didn’t win from eight starts in Victoria but was placed on six occasions.

She has since foaled colts by fellow Japanese stallion Tosen Stardom (dual Australian Group 1 winner in the 2017 Toorak Handicap and Mackinnon Stakes), and another by four-times Group 1 winner Maurice.

Widdup was especially delighted to get Ausbred Flirt’s career off on a winning note for the filly’s owners.

“Chris and Lyn Lawlor for many years have been good supporters of Hawkesbury trainers,” he said.

“Wade Slinkard and Noel Mayfield-Smith (now based at Coffs Harbour) have trained for them.

“I’ve got three horses for them, and two are spelling.

“They are also great supporters of the industry, and sponsor New Zealand’s rich weight-for-age race the Livamol Spring Classic (formerly Kelt Capital Stakes and now named after one of their famous horse products) at Hastings in October.

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