JUST like his namesake, he delivered a knockout blow to his rivals.
Lightly-raced three-year-old Fenech, named after the legendary Australian boxer who won world titles in three weight divisions, broke through at only his second start at Canberra yesterday.
Giving leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup his 35th winner of the season, the well supported three-year-old started a $2.20 favorite in the Maiden Plate (1200m).
Given a perfect ride by Koby Jennings, Fenech never went around a horse in the straight and edged out debutant Jack The Brumby ($5), who had made the running.
In keeping with the Fenech theme, $81 roughie Boxing ran third.
Fenech, a gelded son of Redoute’s Choice and the multiple Group 1 South African winner National Colour (who died not long after foaling a Snitzel filly in 2018), fetched $460,000 at the Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale two years ago.
“Not only did he have the pedigree, but he was a cracking type,” Widdup said today.
“But it has been quite a process to get him to the races.”
Widdup revealed Fenech pulled up lame one morning after a jumpout at Hawkesbury, and it was found he had a chipped a bone in a front knee.
“We had to give him time, hence the reason he hasn’t started racing until late in his three-year-old
season,” he said.
“It was good to get his maiden out of the way yesterday.
“Fenech has pulled up well, and we’ll look for another suitable race for him in the coming weeks.”
Fenech raced for the first time when fourth to De Grawin (who scored again at Nowra last Tuesday) in a Wyong Maiden Plate (1000m) on June 4.
He took improvement from that appearance, relished the step to 1200m yesterday and always looked hard to beat from the time the field jumped away.
. Widdup chose not to run his smart sprinter Sandbar at Royal Randwick today.
He withdrew him this morning from the Winter Dash (1200m), preferring not to risk him on a track rated a Heavy 9.
But he is still hopeful of getting the four-year-old to Grafton for the $200,000 Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 8.
Sandbar, who gave his trainer a stakes breakthrough in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) for two-year-olds at Warwick Farm in February 2018, has raced only once this preparation when fifth on a Heavy 8 surface at Rosehill Gardens on May 30.
“All going well, there’s a race for him at Rosehill next Saturday,” Widdup said.