10th February win for apprentice Mikayla Weir


Frances O’Shea

In-form Blake Shinn took out the riding honours at Wyong with a winning double, taking out the first two races for the Snowden and Anthony Cummings stables.

Shinn, who only recently returned from a lengthy stint on the sideline with a serious neck injury, has booted home eight winners for the month despite serving a suspension.

The Snowden camp are hoping their well-bred galloper Sir Owen can progress to higher grades after his impressive win in the 1200m Wyong Provincial Championships March 30 Maiden.

Perfectly ridden by Shinn, the $2 race favourite pulled away in the final stages to score a two and a quarter length victory.

Shinn positioned the Fastnet Rock gelding just behind the leader and second favourite Jaytees ($4) until straightening, hitting the front around the 250m mark.

Sir Owen, who was coming off a second at Gosford last start, is owned and was named after prominent Kiwi Sir Owen Glenn, owner of the successful Go Bloodstock empire.

“It’s good to get a win for Sir Owen, particularly on one named after him,” Shinn said.

“We knew he had ability because he finished nicely behind a handy filly at Gosford the other day.

“He did a great job today and I think he is in store for better things.”

Colum McCullagh, representing the Snowden’s, said hopefully Sir Owen could “go on with it” after claiming his maiden victory.

“It was a nice win for him. Blake gave him a lovely run just behind the speed and it was great to see him lit the line like he did,” McCullagh said.

“We always knew there was untapped ability there so hopefully now he can go on with it.”

The outsider of the field Chapartica ($51) trained by Adam Wadick, was third.



Anthony Cummings had plenty of reason to celebrate after Blast, who he bred and races in partnership, scored an impressive debut win over the 1350m.

Cummings is enjoying a purple patch, the latest victory the fifth for the stable in a week.

Blast also brought up the early double for Shinn.

By Irish sire Dalakhani, Blast was the well supported $2.70 second favourite in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service 3YO Maiden, on the back of two good trials, the latest a third over 1045m at Randwick on February 19.

He settled at the rear of the small field and was revved up by Shinn around the 700m.

Despite appearing in trouble coming into the turn, Shinn took him wide into the straight where he knuckled down and was able to rein in the speedy On The White Turf ($4.40), from the Richard Freedman stable.

Blast drew away in the final stages to win by just over a length, from On The White Turf, with the $2.45 favourite, On Canyonero, third.

Shinn said it was a tough win by Blast, who was having only his second start.

“He made it hard work for myself and himself but showed his superiority against his rivals today,” he said.

“He is a nice horse and he’s going to get better when he gets to 1600m and even 2000m.

“Once he gets out in distance he will get into his own.

“I think he could measure up in one of the lesser races in the carnival on the way to bigger things.”



A dominant win by the short priced favourite Pop Girl who was rewarded for her consistency taking out the COAST SHELTER MAIDEN PLATE over 1600m.

Trained by John O’Shea and ridden by Brenton Avdulla, Pop Girl ($1.55) has been placed in all of her four starts this preparation.

She was second at Canterbury over the 1550m at her last start on February and sent out short priced favourite by punters.

The three-year-old Snitzel filly didn’t disappoint and despite being eased down on the line by Avdulla, still put almost four lengths on her rivals.

Pop Girl, out of Music Review, is raced by Neil Werrett.

John O’Shea said the filly had “deserved the win.”

“It was great to get one for Neil today because he’s been very patient,” he said.

“She’s been crying out for the mile. That, some head gear and a lovely Brenton ride got the job done.

“She’s been racing well and we were very keen to get her here today. It’s a beautiful circumference and a lovely surface here and the opportunity to grab Brenton Avdulla was another plus.”

Pop Girl beat the Godolphin trained Love Seat ($6), with Lady Grande ($12) trained by John Sargent, third.



A Cummings trifecta in the 1000m COMMUNITY TRANSPORT CENTRAL COAST MAIDEN with Godolphin’s James Cummings training the winner Ariege and runner-up Pindus, while the third placegetter Agassi was trained by his father Anthony.

Ariege, the $1.75 race favourite ridden by Josh Parr, showed plenty of gate speed and was settled just off the speed on the rails.

She was well-rated by Parr, who took her to the lead before the straight, kicking two lengths clear and maintaining the lead to the line.

Darren Beadman, stable representative, described Ariege’s win as ‘very dominant’.

“She jumped straight onto the bridle and gave nothing else a chance,” he said.

“She’s a lovely running type filly and she trialled really well coming into this. She’s a lovely bred filly and it’s good to see her get on the board.

“She’s nice and strong and really developed. James has given her the time to mature and find herself. She’s got a lovely mannerism and hopefully can go on to bigger and better things.”

The Exceed and Excel filly, having her third race start, was coming off a trial win at Warwick Farm on February 14.



The David Pfieffer trained Crafty Tycoon ($8) upset some of the more favoured runners to take out the 1200m COMMUNITY & BUSINESS WOMEN’S NETWORK CENTRAL COAST NSW BENCHMARK 64.

The Written Tycoon gelding, appreciated a fast tempo in the early part of the race, with Corey Brown taking him to the outside around the 700m mark.

He fought out the final stages of the race with the Waugh trained Mighty Marmalade, gaining ascendency on the line.

“It’s about time, he’s been knocking on the door for a while,” stable representative Sue O’Keefe said.

“He was supposed to go to Brisbane last week but doesn’t like the wet tracks, so we canned that because of the cyclone.

“He’s in fine form and doing everything right at home and he finally got over the line today.”

Brown was also pleased with the win.

“The big weight today he did a good job.

“He was a fraction slow away and I got him a long way out with the big weight. He did a great job.”

Crafty Tycoon beat Mighty Marmalade ($4.20) by just over a length, with Come Along ($7), trained by John Sargent, third.



The Kris Lees trained Kanavu snatched victory in a thrilling three-way finish in the CENTRAL COAST CENTRE RIDING FOR THE DISABLED BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP over the 1200m.

Under strong riding by Glynn Schofield, the Dream Ahead colt, took out the race by a half head.

He beat the Nick Mitchell trained Radical Impact ($3.80), with Angela Davies $2.85 favourite Queen Ablaze a close third.

Kanavu, a $110,000 two-year-old purchase, was having his second start for the Lees stable having resumed with a second at Gosford on February 12.

Cherie Markham, from the Lees stable said Kanavu keeps on improving with every run.

“It was a very good run at Gosford last start and he rode him perfectly today to finish off. He’s a big nice type, he’s developed more and he’s on his toes keen to race,” she said.

“Glynn had him in the perfect spot in the one, one. He was confident with his race plan before he went out and it worked out perfectly.”

Schofield said there was still plenty of improvement to come with Kanavu.

“He felt like he was going to win comfortably but he’s still a little bit green and didn’t really know how to put the race to sleep when I needed him to,” he said.

“He’s still got a little bit to learn still but it was a comfortable win none the less.

“Mentally he’s got a bit of learning to do, but when it counted, he got his head down and won well.”



Apprentice Mikayla Weir capped off a great month bringing up her 10th winner for February in the 1350m VINNIES SHOPS CLASS 2 HANDICAP.

Weir booted home outsider, Tinkermosa ($31) for Randwick trainer John Sargent.

The Singleton based apprentice is proving popular with trainers for their provincial and metropolitan runners, where she still claims two and three kilos respectively.

Weir turned second on straightening on Tinkermosa, after sitting just off the lead for most of the race, and under strong riding was able to run down the leader Oakfield Twilight ($4.40), trained by Damien Lane.

It was the second career win for Tinkermosa, an Alamosa mare, who raced in the 2018 Queensland Oaks.

Sargent, who praised Weir, said a wind operation had made the difference to the mare.

“The wind operation was definitely a big help here,” he said.

“We took her up to the Oaks very confident and she disappointed. After that her two or three runs were very average. We scoped her and found out she had a wind problem. Obviously, the operation worked.

“She’s a lovely horse and now she’s back she’ll probably get up over a trip. It was a nice win today and a lovely ride by the jockey.”

She had a soft run on the leader and got up strong late

Weir said she had to go to plan B when the horse jumped so well.

“I let her travel where she was off the speed and she hit the line beautifully. She is a lovely mare,” Weir said.

China Gale, the $4 equal favourite from the O’Shea stable finished third.



Another in-form apprentice was in the winner’s circle following the IRIS FOUNDATION BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1600m) after Billy Owen booted home the Waterhouse Bott trained Zepplin ($2.80).

Neil Campton, representing the stable was full of praise for Owen, who is apprenticed to Nick Olive at Canberra.

“He rode him so well,” he said. “He did exactly what we wanted so it was a terrific ride by the boy,” he said.

“He is such a consistent horse this time in which is great for everyone concerned.”

The $500,000 yearling, by Fastnet Rock out of Media, brought up his fifth career win from 20 starts.

He appreciated the drop in class in the Benchmark 64, with Owen content to take a sit just off the leader.

He hit the front on straightening and was able to stave off challengers to win by almost a length.

Owner Charles Kelly from Newhaven Park said Zepplin had had a great preparation and had been very consistent.

“He’s won four races this time in including the Bong Bong Cup,” Kelly said.

“I love this horse. I love his name and it’s great to see him win.”

Sensacova ($8) from the Marc Connors stable was second, with the Jeff Englebrecht trained Hammond Lane ($10), a half- length behind in third.

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