SUNDAY: May 2, 2021: “RELUCTANT” Mum Night Flyer cheated retirement and came back to add another win to her record at Newcastle yesterday – but it may have been her last race second time around.
Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup claimed his 25th victory of the season when Alysha Collett got Night Flyer ($7) home narrowly ahead of $2.70 favorite Oakfield Arrow in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m).
The four-year-old daughter of All Too Hard had earlier won two races (at Hawkesbury in June, 2019 and Wyong in March last year).
“Night Flyer is owned by Vinery Stud, and was served by one of their stallions last year but didn’t get into foal,” Brad explained today.
“It hast taken a while to win another race with her this time in work, but I thought she had run a couple of nice races at Gosford before failing at Hawkesbury last month.
“In hindsight, that was a stronger race as the winner I Say Hello subsequently was placed in Group company at Randwick and our own filly Calgary Queen, whom I have a good opinion of, ran second that day.
“I went back to basics, taking blinkers and the barrier blanket off at Newcastle yesterday.
“I had been using the blanket as she had been slow to jump.
“She still began awkwardly yesterday, but thankfully Alysha gave her a good ride and got clear in the straight in time to get her to the post first.”
Brad said he was uncertain about immediate plans for Night Flyer, who has been placed six times from 18 starts along with her three successes.
“There were only six runners in the race for fillies and mares, and I’m unsure whether we will start her again,” he said.
“I’ll have a look at the programs and see if we can find another suitable race, but she may go back to Vinery Stud to be mated again in the upcoming season.”
. Brad had four representatives at his home track’s stand-alone meeting yesterday, and finished third with Adelong ($7.50) in the Listed Hawkesbury XXXX Gold Rush (1100m) and fourth with $91 roughie Akari in the $175,000 Group 3 Killahy Equine Hawkesbury Crown (1300m).
Switched ($26) finished 12th in the Gold Rush, and Calgary Queen ($26) was out of luck when seventh in the $200,000 Blacktown Workers Club Group Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).
“I was delighted with how both Adelong and Akari performed, and they will go on to the Scone carnival in a fortnight,” Brad said.
“Adelong will contest the Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at Scone’s second day at Rosehill on Saturday week, whilst Akari will run in either the Scone Cup (1600m) on Friday week, or Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) against her own sex at Rosehill a day later.”
The Dark Jewel carries Group 3 status, and the Scone Cup and Ortensia are Listed races.
Calgary Queen has concluded her current campaign, and will be spelled.
“She had no luck at all yesterday in the Guineas, and has done a good job, winning two of her six starts,” Brad said.
“I’m sure she will come back an even better filly next time.
“Switched has had only the two runs this preparation after a decent break, and may be taking time to reach peak fitness.”