Brad Widdup was both pleased and relieved to see his promising filly Darling Point break through at Hawkesbury today – but is not getting carried away just yet.
He is keen to take a steady approach with the three-year-old who was sent out a $1.26 favorite for the RYDA & ONE80TC Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1300m), and duly delivered at only her second start.
But not before she had to firstly fight off third placegetter, fellow Hawkesbury trainer Garry White’s War Cabinet ($6.50), and then a late finish from runner-up Estroverto ($8).
“There’s always pressure when they go out at such short odds, and I thought Darling Point did a good job,” Widdup said this evening.
“We rode her a bit upside down, and they served it up to her, but I liked the way she fought.
“The best part of her win was the last bit; she was strong to the line.”
Widdup has no doubt Darling Point will derive further improvement from today’s outing.
“She had a freshen up after her terrific first-up run at Canterbury (when she came from well back and was photo-finished out of an 1100m 2YO Maiden Plate against her own sex on June 19) and only one trial,” he said.
“She had a good blow afterwards.
“I’d like to find another soft race for her next and then see what happens.
“She is still learning, and I don’t really want to throw her into the deep end yet.”
Sydney’s premier jockey James McDonald rode Darling Point today after partnering her in a 795m Warwick Farm trial victory on August 9.
Raced by John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds, Darling Point has the bloodlines to measure up in better races provided she continues to progress.
She is a beautifully bred filly by former champion Lonhro from the Fastnet Rock mare Empress Rock, which the late Bart Cummings trained.
Empress Rock raced only eight times for three wins, and two of them were at Group 2 level in the 2012 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington and Fillies’ Classic (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
Empress Rock foaled Darling Point in 2016, then missed to Lonhro the following year before foaling a Sebring filly in 2018, and was sent to Great Britain last month to continue her breeding career.
Widdup also was pleased with the debut performance of stablemate Bigger Than Thorn ($12), who finished strongly into third place in the Hawkesbury Liquor Accord 3YO Maiden Handicap (1000m).
The Snitzel colt is raced by Max Whitby.