SUNDAY: August 21, 2022: HAWKESBURY’S leading trainer Brad Widdup’s two-track double today with his only two runners took his career prizemoney earnings beyond $14m.

Brad went to Nowra where Sky Ace ($2.25 favorite) broke through – and easily – in a Maiden Plate (1400m), whilst Verzenay ($7.50) made it two wins from her last three starts, in the Queen Of The Valley Matchmaker (a 1280m Benchmark 66 Handicap for fillies and mares) at Muswellbrook.

Jean Van Overmeire rode Sky Ace, who led and scored by more than three lengths from outsiders Conjola Phoenix ($15) and The Big Biig ($31), and non-claiming apprentice Reece Jones had the mount on All Too Hard mare Verzenay, who beat Yulong Monoceros ($7.50) and $3.90 favorite Whispering Kate.

The double took Widdup’s career tally in just over five full seasons to 242 wins for a strike rate of 15.7 per cent, and his horses have collected $14,011,107.

Along with 423 placings, his horses are striking in that regard at 43 per cent.

Brad got Sky Ace ready to win first-up at 1400m with only one trial. 

The Sooboog four-year-old had not raced since finishing second, also at Nowra, over 2200m at Nowra on April 26.

“He still has a way to go, but is a lot more mature this time in work and his action is a lot better,” Brad said en route home.

“I’m sure he is going to successfully get over more ground this preparation.

“Verzenay is doing a good job. Her recent wins have been on soft tracks, and she isn’t comfortable on firm ground, as evidenced by her seventh in a Class 1 Handicap at Hawkesbury earlier this month after breaking through at Wyong last month.”

. Brad was pleased with Icebath’s first-up seventh to star four-year-old Anamoe in yesterday’s Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick, and now has a couple of options with her.

“She can either go to The Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday week and then Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Newcastle on September 16 against her own sex en route to the Group 1 Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 1, or to the Golden Pendant (1400m) also against her own sex at Rosehill on September 24 after the Tramway, and then back up a week later in the Epsom,” he said.

“She has shown in the past that she backs up well.”