SUNDAY: June 9, 2024: BRAD Widdup the morning after still found it hard to believe that Ruby Flyer had clinched the unlikeliest of Royal Randwick victories a day earlier. 

In what the leading Hawkesbury trainer described as a “ballsy ride” by star Newcastle apprentice Dylan Gibbons, Ruby Flyer ($4.40 favorite) sprouted wings when finally into the clear to land the 1600m Handicap.

“He was bailed away and had nowhere to go at the 300m, and then 100m out I thought ‘what has happened here’,” Brad said.

“Ruby Flyer finished so quickly that in the end he won easily (the margin was one and a half lengths). 

“It was amazing. They rarely win races like that, even at the provincials.

“Ruby Flyer is a beauty and very straight forward to train. I wish I had 10 like him.”

RacingNSW stewards underlined the strength of Ruby Flyer’s luminous performance in their after-meeting report.

“Ruby Flyer began only fairly and approaching the 300m had to be eased from the heels of Danish Fortune (eventual $61 runner-up) when that horse shifted in when not clear (apprentice Jett Stanley was told to exercise more care),” the report read.

“Ruby Flyer then was held up behind Danish Fortune from the 300m until passing the 150m where he was able to shift to the outside to continue into clear running.”

A lightly-raced five-year-old who joined Brad’s team earlier this year from fellow Hawkesbury trainers Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard after being sold, Ruby Flyer won a heat of the Provincial-Midway Championships (1400m) at Kembla Grange in March at his first outing for his new trainer.

That was on a heavy track as with yesterday and, whilst Ruby Flyer has won twice on good surfaces, there is no question he excels on the former.

In spite of his sixth overall victory at his 15th start, Brad isn’t inclined to push ahead any further with him at present. 

“I think he is good enough to get ready for the spring, so I don’t really need to run him again for now,” he said.

“A break of three weeks in the paddock will do him good, and then we’ll bring him back and see how he progresses.”

Ruby Flyer was Brad’s 56th winner of the season, and he went close to going home with a Randwick double.

His improving three-year-old filly Be Real ($8.50) just missed overhauling Piggyback ($7) in the 3YO Benchmark 72 Handicap (2000m).

“She has really come good,” Brad said. “I was a bit perplexed after her first couple of runs, but we know now that she can stay.

“I will most likely also give her a break, and look forward to getting her back as a four-year-old mare.”

Stewards reported Be Real had to be steadied after improving on to the heels of Piggyback passing the 700m, and approaching the 200m was briefly inconvenienced when the winner shifted out.

Brad ruled out any thoughts of a protest, saying the latter incident wasn’t sufficient to warrant lodging an objection. 

. The consistent Jedibeel (Tyler Schiller) will represent the stable in the Benchmark 88 Handicap (1200m) at Canterbury on Monday, and Brad may have dual representation in the $300,000 Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1300m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

“With fine weather predicted, I’m looking to run both Ausbred Flirt and Short Shorts,” he said.

“Short Shorts is coming to the end of her time with me, and will go back to New Zealand soon.”