WEDNESDAY: April 13, 2022: WHAT better way to celebrate your birthday than winning a race on your home track!
Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup did exactly that at the ATC metropolitan meeting held at Hawkesbury today, with well backed Calgary Queen giving him his 39th winner of the season.
Ridden by James McDonald, Calgary Queen ($3.30) controlled the Blacktown Workers Club Group Benchmark 72 Handicap (1300m) against her own sex up front, and left her rivals with no excuses.
She conceded odds-on favorite Thalassophile ($1.85) 3kg, but was too good.
Calgary Queen, a Real Impact four-year-old, has raced 14 times for four wins and as many placings.
A $50,000 2019 Inglis Classic yearling sale purchase, she has now earned nearly $124,000.
Brad, who wasn’t on course as he had “plenty on his plate” at his superb set-up adjoining the track in the back straight, opted to put blinkers on Calgary Queen for today’s assignment.
However, he did not consider they were solely responsible for the mare’s return to the winning list.
“She has been a bit gawky, and I’m sure the blinkers helped, but can’t say they contributed totally to her win,” Brad said.
“This was her third run back this preparation, and she was fitter.
“Calgary Queen is doing a good job, but there are no ambitious plans with her.
“This was her second metropolitan success, and we’ll look for another suitable race in the coming weeks.”
Brad is delighted with how his season is progressing, pointing out he has already surpassed last season’s tally of 36 winners.
So too his prizemoney earnings of $3,788,447 have topped last season’s $3,720,760.
“The horses are racing well, and I’ll be doing my best to reach a half-century of winners before the season ends on July 31,” he said.
. Brad this morning gave the “green light” for stable star Icebath to tackle Saturday’s Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick.
Not only will it be her first attempt at the distance, but she will be racing for the third consecutive weekend.
“Icebath had a canter this morning and then went on the water walker,” Brad said.
“She is a very tough mare, and is in great order.
“I have no problem backing her up on Saturday, and that will be it for this preparation.”
Kerrin McEvoy again partners Icebath, who is the early $4.60 favorite with TAB.com.au.