SUNDAY: January 22, 2023: BRAD Widdup intends to give improving four-year-old Fudai a chance to clinch a hat-trick before giving him a break.

Having only his seventh start, Fudai made it two in a row with a gutsy performance in yesterday’s Class 1/Maiden Plate (2000m) at Kembla Grange.

The only surprising part about his victory was his SP odds of $11, considering he was coming off a last start city breakthrough in a 1900m Maiden at Canterbury on January 11.

“I knew he would race well when he looked so good parading beforehand, and I didn’t worry about his price,” Brad said today.

Fudai’s victory gave Victorian jockey Lewis German an important breakthrough as he tried his luck for a time in the Sydney metropolitan and provincial area. 

“Lewis comes out to Hawkesbury on Tuesdays to ride work, and he rode Fudai perfectly to instructions,” Brad said.

“I will look for another suitable race for the horse in the coming weeks to give him a chance to chase a hat-trick, and then probably give him a break.

“He keeps improving and is shaping as a handy stayer.”

Hawkesbury’s leading trainer’s success with Fudai was not only his 35th as the season nears the halfway mark, but the fact that his horses have earned just over $2.5m since August 1 indicates just how well the stable is going, highlighted of course by a Group 1 breakthrough with Icebath in Melbourne last spring.

Fudai gamely edged out Spinpix ($13) and Portnoy ($6) at Kembla Grange, and would have been unlucky had he not won as RacingNSW stewards reported he was held up rounding the home turn and in the early part of the straight.

. Meanwhile, Brad has returned his Hellbent filly Fire Lane to NSW after her excellent fifth to Skirt The Law in last Thursday’s $2m Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast.

She is spelling on the Central Coast, but it won’t be a long break as her trainer readies her for an autumn carnival tilt at home.

“I thought she went terrific at the Gold Coast,” Brad said. “Things just didn’t work out for her in the run, and the postponement of the race from the previous Saturday meant she hadn’t raced for nearly four weeks.

“I won’t be able to give her long out and she will come back to the stable on Monday week to prepare for the Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 4.”

The $300,000 Group 2 Reisling is for two-year-old fillies, with the winner automatically gaining a place in the field for the $5m Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight later.

Stable star Icebath is pleasing Widdup and she will trial again at Warwick Farm next Monday prior to her resumption in the $250,000 Group 2 wfa Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 11.