SUNDAY: May 31, 2020: THE opener at Kembla Grange and the closer at Rosehill Gardens!
It was a long wait between races yesterday but certainly worthwhile for Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup, who marked three years of training with a two-track double – and both were favorites to boot.
Widdup’s “girls” Vulpine (Kembla Grange) and Adelong (Rosehill Gardens) lifted him to 32 winners for the season and a career total of 129 after scoring with his first starter Junglized on Canberra’s synthetic (ACTON) track on May 26, 2017.
Snitzel three-year-old Vulpine ($2.05) broke through in the Maiden Handicap (1000m) at 11.37am and nearly five hours later Medaglia D’Oro four-year-old Adelong ($1.75) added to her blossoming record in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1100m).
Vulpine, a $340,000 purchase at the 2018 Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast, was having her sixth start, whereas Adelong made it five wins and two seconds from only seven starts, boosting her earnings to $186,535.
Not a bad return considering managing owner Michael Coleman last year bought her online at Bloodstockauction.com for $10,175 as an unraced three-year-old with the 47th and final bid – and what an advertisement she is for her trainer’s skills!
Reflecting today on an excellent result, Widdup was understandably delighted with the performances of both his winners.
“Vulpine has been going really well at home, and though I didn’t want to run her first-up on a heavy track, I couldn’t hold her back any longer otherwise she could have hurt herself,” he said.
“She ran a nice race in the Maiden at the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast in January before a break and has come back a more settled filly.
“Full credit to her rider Shaun Guymer who walked the track prior to the meeting at Kembla and felt it was best so early in the program to stay near the inside in the straight.”
Vulpine showed her rivals a clean pair of heels and, though tiring at the end in the heavy conditions, was never threatened in beating Debrief ($26) and Kimberley Rain ($10).
“It was good to get a win with her, and hopefully she can now go on with it,” Widdup said.
Vulpine’s dam Elusive Leone had only three live foals and died in November 2017, two months before Widdup’s filly was sold.
Adelong (Hugh Bowman) continued to take the next step in her racetrack career by showing real grit to fend off Broken Arrows ($9) and Handspun ($10) at Rosehill.
But her trainer prefers not to worry about the revised Brisbane winter program, and look ahead to the spring.
He plans to enter Adelong for the Listed Bob Charley AO Stakes (1100m) – formerly June Stakes – at Royal Randwick on Saturday, but won’t make a hasty decision on a start to chase black type.
“If it’s a strong field and the indications are that it will be, I would prefer to wait another week for a Benchmark 88 Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill and then give her a little break,” Widdup said.
“There are plenty of nice races for mares in the spring.”
Widdup is buoyed by Adelong’s improving race craft as she gains more experience. “She is definitely going the right way,” he said.
With two months of the 2019-20 season remaining, he is hopeful he can reach or even surpass his 41 winners last season.
“The horses are racing well and, with a bit more luck on our side (he has had 74 placegetters and many were seconds) we would already have reached last year’s total,” he said.
. Widdup’s two winners increased to 113 the number prepared by Hawkesbury trainers in the first 10 months of the current season.