SUNDAY: March 29, 2020: SIZE doesn’t matter!
She might be a midget, but there’s no doubting Night Flyer’s ability and courage.
No further back than fourth in eight starts to date which have included two victories and four placings, Night Flyer ($3.40 favorite) gave her trainer Brad Widdup his 25th win of the season at Wyong yesterday – in the nick of time in more ways than one.
A three-year-old daughter of Black Caviar’s younger half-brother All Too Hard, Night Flyer’s surging finish in heavy rain clinched victory in the Conditional Benchmark 70 Handicap (1100m) in the shadows of the post.
And it was the last race run at the meeting, with the fifth and final heat of the 2020 Provincial Championships series having to be postponed.
“Night Flyer is tiny allright,” Widdup said today.
“She weighs only around 437kg, and I doubt she even stands 15 hands.
“But she is very genuine and has never run a bad race.”
Form students cleaned up when Night Flyer (Christian Reith) edged out minor placegetters Moccasin Miss ($10) and the pacy Iconic Star ($7), who made the running.
Not only did Widdup’s filly win her first race on a heavy track at Hawkesbury in June last year, but at her previous start on March 4 had finished an excellent second to Shout The Bar in a 3YO Benchmark 64 Handicap (1150m) on the Kensington track.
Shout The Bar won the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens 20 minutes before Night Flyer scored at Wyong.
Coincidentally, Widdup trains Night Flyer for one of the Upper Hunter’s leading breeding operations, Vinery Stud.
“I knew Night Flyer was set for another good preparation because she trialled really well on a soft track at home on February 20 when second to Joe Pride’s smart short course sprinter Brook Magic,” Widdup said.
“That was before she resumed when runner-up to Shout The Bar on the Kensington track.”
Night Flyer’s form has influenced her trainer to consider giving her the chance to snare black type at Royal Randwick during The Championships.
“Provided Night Flyer does well this week, she deserves the opportunity to have a crack at the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) against her own sex on Saturday,” Widdup said.
Widdup almost landed a Wyong double as another of his three-year-old fillies, Lady Tavista ($11), was narrowly beaten by Earth Song ($8) in the previous race, the Class 1 Handicap (1350m).
. Night Flyer’s dam Night War (by General Nediym) won five (all at Perth’s Ascot racetrack) of her 11 starts, including the 2011 Group 3 Karrakatta Plate (1100m) as a two-year-old and Group 3 Lee-Steere Stakes (1400m) later that year as a three-year-old.
Night Flyer’s younger half-brother Major Murphy (by Press Statement) earlier at Wyong won the 2YO Maiden Handicap (1200m) on debut.
. Another of Widdup’s talented three-year-old fillies Icebath, who finished a close sixth to Asiago (Shout The Bar was second) in the Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m), is set to run at Rosehill Gardens on Wednesday in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1500m) against her own sex.