FRIDAY: June 17, 2022: BRAD Widdup set himself a goal this season to return to the same level he achieved in his first full season in 2017-18.

A double at Goulburn today with his only two runners ensured he has done that – and more.

The leading Hawkesbury trainer scored with Ausbred Bluebird ($3.60) and first starter Flashy Gift ($21) to take his number of winners in the first ten and a half months to 52; one more than four seasons ago.

And his horses have earned a benchmark $4.54m ($13.57m overall), well above the $1.63m from his 2017-18 tally.

“It’s taken plenty of hard work, but it’s good to get back to a level I want to be at,” Brad said on his way home from Goulburn this evening.

“The result is even more pleasing as I now have a full stable of 53, but was down to 30-odd horses in November and December.

“The season isn’t over yet, so we will be doing our best to add to the number of winners in the remaining weeks until the end of July.”

Jean Van Overmeire, who has been in sparkling form with eight victories at the last two Hawkesbury meetings, has been aboard Brad’s last three winners.

He rode The Himalayas to a resumption victory at Hawkesbury last Sunday, and both Goulburn winners today.

Teofilo filly Ausbred Bluebird, a $110,000 yearling purchase for the Lawlor family at the 2020 Inglis Australian Easter sale, was having her sixth start in the Class 1/Maiden Plate (2140m).

After being narrowly beaten over 1800m at her previous start at Newcastle, she went one better this time, downing other fancied pair Vyner ($2.25 favorite) and Pioneer Lass ($3.20).

“We have had to be patient with her because she hasn’t been the best eater,” Brad said.

“But she is eating better now, and the results are showing.

“I may back her up at Newcastle next Saturday in another Class 1/Maiden Plate over 2300m.”

Patience has also been a keynote with Frosted filly Flashy Gift, who was making her first appearance at the races late into her three-year-old season.

“She has been very immature, but trialled well recently and was as bright as a button at the track today,” Brad said.

“I wasn’t totally surprised to see her run so well.”

Raced by Zhongli Thoroughbreds, who also have last Sunday’s winner The Himalayas, Flashy Gift fetched only $30,000 at the 2020 Magic Millions Adelaide yearling sale.

Her dam Fartoo Flashy, a daughter of the noted staying influence Galileo, raced only seven times for three placings in South Australia.

Brad put blinkers on the debutante at her latest trial when third over 1000m on her home track on May 30, and was content to leave them on her today.

Flashy Gift rounded off a great day at the office for her trainer when she beat Master Joe ($9) and Kwik Az Hell ($8.50) in the Maiden Handicap (1000m).