Provincial Championships A Possibility for Locally Trained Designated

Provincial Championships A Possibility for Locally Trained Designated 1

By Katrina Patridge, Photos Steve Hart

Local trainer Kristen Buchanan has a potential Provincial Championships qualifier in her stable after Jeff Penza delivered a textbook ride on Designated – a 3yo son of Rubick in Race 7 101.3’s Top Koala-T Aussie Race Day Benchmark 64 Handicap 1600m.

The win was a second under the class record time set back on 12 December 2018 by Classic Princess (1:37.32).

Heavily backed, Designated took a clear lead at the 100m mark and had three lengths on the field at the winning post. 

A delighted Buchanan and an equally happy owner Alex Illes couldn’t contain their excitement as their horse returned to scale. 

“This is fantastic, just fantastic!” Mr Illes said.  

Buchanan said the horsehad been screamingout for the 1600m.

“He went very well for Serg [Lisny] when fresh over 1000m. Since then he has been a little bit tardy away and building into his races and today was an experiment, but I was very confident that he would get it and I like being right,” she said. 

Buchanan said Designated had come to be in her care after running amiss in Queensland. 

“Alex is his breeder and he and his wife Deidre send us a few horses and they are lovely people to train for.”

Second in the race was Nordic Lover (Glyn Schofield), third was Frenzied (Tommy Berry) and fourth was Parry Sound (Billy Owen). Race time was 1:36.29 (last 600m in 34.18). Official margins were 2& 3/4 lengths x 1/2 head. 


Jason Coyle and Mikayla Weir combined to take out the 1100m You’ll Love It! By The Halekulani Bowling Club 4YO & Up Maiden Plate with Freefica. 

The four-year-old daughter of Benfica broke from the barriers with early speed and maintained the pressure for t 1100m, the remainder of the field simply running out of room to catch her. 

Coyle said the mare had done it at both ends and had done ‘a good job of it.

“She will now work her way through her classes. She has a similar racing pattern to her sister who is stakes placed but whether she has what is required to get to that level is yet to be seen,” Coyle said.

Weir said of her mount: “when she got to the front she had a good look around. She travelled well but was a bit raw.”

Patrina (Chris O’Brien) tried desperately to close the gap in the final stages without success. Race favourite Shadow Colour finished third (Tom Marquand) and Pure Faith (Tommy Berry) was fourth.

Race time was 1:02.98 (last 600m in 34.24). Official margins were 3/4 length x 3.5 lengths. Track rating is a Good 4. Rail position is true. 


Travis Wolfgram piloted the well-bred Lady Legend to her first win in class record time in The Jett’s Fitness @San Remo Aussie Day Hoseplay Maiden Plate over 1600m. 

The $300,000 daughter of Redoute’s Choice, trained by Les Bridge, had been winless in her previous six starts but made amends over the 1600m with winning jockey Travis Wolfgram saying the victory gave him every indication she could appreciate even further ground. 

Stable representative Carmel Size said the filly was the first she had bought for owner Mr Ho and had always been a horse that needed strengthening. 

“I gave her another four months off at the end of last preparation and I think we are going to reap the rewards of that this preparation,” Size said.

“She is a very special filly to me and is by Redoute’s Choice so that is going to hold her in good stead.

“I certainly think she will go on to city class.”

Wolgram said that Lady Legend jumped well and showed good early speed and was on the back of the right horses coming to the turn.  

“It was a good tough win,” he said. 

Space is Deep (Tommy Berry) made up good ground to take 2nd, Sebourg (Robbie Dolan) hung on for 3rd and Startalk (Tom Sherry) was 4th.

Lady Legend won in a time of 1.37.22 (last 600m 34.22). Official margins were 3/4 length x a head. 

A protest 2nd (Space Is Deep) against 1st (Lady Legend) was dismissed.


Darkening skies and a threatening storm put the races back by one come by the third race, the Capital One Real Estates Aussie, Aussie, Aussie … Run … Run … Run Maiden Handicap over 1350m.  

Race favourite Atherton (Jay Ford) led from the start and Capri of Tuffy (Cejay Graham) took a sit behind. 

Just after the turn, following a slight wobble, the three-year-old filly found her balance and let down, easily sprinting past the opposition to secure the win. 

“We elected to come here and claim 2kg off her back and put Cejay on her and ride her on the speed,” trainer Peter Robl said.

“Those tactics proved correct. Every so often you get it right. I may have asked too much of her last preparation.

“She’s a very genuine filly and she can certainly win a metropolitan race – a mid-week at Canterbury or similar. 

“The owner Richard Tuffy also owns the mare and bred this filly so he’ll be over the moon. 

“It’s great for everyone involved.”  

Another class record fell in this race, the previous record of 1:18.72 set by Absolute on January 28, 2018. 

Amica (Travis Wolfgram) finished second and Charles Seven (Tommy Berry) was third with Atherton (Jay Ford) fourth after making up some late ground. Race time was 1:18.68 (final 600m in 35.37). Official margins were 3/4 length x 1.25 length.


The Alloom Beauty Aussie Day Dash Class 1 Handicap over 1100m  was pitched as a galloping lesson and it panned out as exactly that … or did it? 

The Godolphin owned and trained Acumen, whose pedigree page sports Group 1 winners and sires such as Helmet and Epaulette, jumped from the starting gates at odds of $1.30.

The royal blue Godolphin silks gave every indicator of leading from pillar to post and Jason Collet made it look like a morning at track work. 

Keagan Latham had other ideas and as the horses powered into the final 100m, the Jason Attard & Lucy Keegan-Attard trained Reiby’s Regent (at odds of $26) suddenly loomed as a major threat, reducing Acumen’s lead with every stride.  

In horse racing though you just have to win, even if just by a neck but punters who took the $1.30 would of been having heart palpitations.

“He didn’t overdo it early,” Godolphin’s assistant trainer Darren Beadman said post-race.

“It’s always nice to see them back up and go from a maiden to a Class 1, particularly to win a fast race like this one. 

“He was still in control of things and strong on the line. They broke 11 seconds for nearly every furlong that they ran today and that’s not an easy task so he’s a horse with a good future.

“He’s now had two Provincial wins so James [Cummings] will try and find a nice mid-week city race for him now, just go through the grades and see what he has to offer. 

“He is only a lightly framed horse, so I think there is quite a lot of upside to him.”

Reiby’s Regent looks a horse to follow after today’s effort. Hyannis Point (Jay Ford) was third and Circus (Robbie Dolan) was fourth. Race time was 1:03.06 (last 600m 33.39). Official margins were a neck x 1.75 lengths. 


Horses that put money in your bank account every time they step foot out are always an owner’s best friend and Merlinite gave her owners more reasons to love her today taking out the Event Cinemas Gold Class Gallop Benchmark 64 Handicap over 2100m. 

The John O’Shea trained four-year-old mare, ridden by Tom Sherry, didn’t have the easiest of runs for the first half of the race given the muddling pace and her position against the fence. 

Making her move at the 500m mark, Merlinite came wide and took the lead from Sea Spirit (Keagan Latham) at the 150m mark and was strong late to post back to back wins. 

“She really hit the line strong,” Sherry said.

“It was a massive run. She travelled well throughout and I just wanted to get her to the outside so she could get the run.”

“She will be off to town now,” stable representative Tom Charlton said. 

“She is now at a rating of about 64. She is also at the bracket of about 2400m and needs a wider track. The barrier seems to be a bit of an issue for her.

“She is jumping a bit slow. Whether she is just very relaxed it’s hard to say. She needs more room to best show her assets.”

Highjacker (Travis Wolfram) was second, Sea Spirt (Keagan Latham) was third and Elleofadeel (Rory Hutchings) was fourth. Race time was 2:10.32 (last 600m 34.04). Official margins were 1.5 lengths x a nose.


By the same sire as Everest winner Yes Yes Yes, Turnstyle showed she has plenty of potential when she showed the opposition a clean set of heels in the Freddy’s Benchmark 64 Handicap over 1000m.

The three-year-old filly has now won her last two starts and placed second in her only other race. Her latest win was in class record time; the previous record being set by Tough Larry on 27 November 2019 (a time of 57.10).

Turnstyle is raced by a well-known group of owners who include three brothers, the Hendersons, who owned and raced Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, Champion two-year-old colt/Gr 1 Golden Slipper winner Sebring, Magic Millions two-year-old winner and Gr 1 Galaxy H winner Sweet Idea and Caulfield Cup winner Descarado. Turnstyle.

They may well be their next star in the making.

“She’s always shown us promise but we have had setback after setback, and it has always held back the preparation. Nothing major but enough to hold things back,” David Henderson said after the race. 

“She has never done too much wrong.

“We have always thought she was going to be Saturday city class if not better so we thought we would come here today and hopefully she would win. 

“It was a tough race, but she was comfortable, and she won it well, so we’re really pleased.

“She has a bit of that X factor about her and that keeps coming out as we go along with the preparation.” 

Jason Collett was the successful jockey, the win bringing up a winning double for him. 

Second was Tikkitala (Louise Day), third was Moccasin Miss (Tom Sherry) and fourth was My Fire Phoenix (Tommy Berry). Race time was 57.07 (last 600m in 33.17). Official margins were 1.5 lengths x 1.25 lengths.


Damien Lane

After four days on the road Damien Lane is hoping his home track on Sunday will bring out the best in his runners.

Wyong’s Australia Day HIT 101.3 FAMILY DAY meeting ends a busy period for Lane, with five consecutive meetings at Canterbury, Tamworth, Port Macquarie and Newcastle in the preceding days.

“You don’t often get a run like that, but you have to take the horses where they are best suited.

“I have a capacity 35 in work now and you have to travel them.

“It will be good to race at home and it should suit the horses we’ve got in.”

Lane is hopeful three of the four runners could figure in the finish.

Mr McBat returns to his ideal distance in the BM64 over the 1600m and Lane said he should run well.

The seven-year-old was side-lined with a tendon injury for 18 months and returned on the Beaumont track on December 21 where he finished fourth over 1150m.

“I thought his first up run was good, but he was a bit plain second up at Warwick Farm.

“It was a decent enough race in town and I just thought he might be looking for further straight away this time, so he’s up to the mile. That is his best distance so he should race well.”

Mr McBat won both the South Grafton and Wingham Cups over the 1600m in 2017.

Lane expects Lavish Rose to return to her best form in the 2100m BM64, after a failing in city class last run.

The four-year-old Domesday mare won over the 2200m on the Beaumont Track on Boxing Day and Lane believes she is more suited to Provincial grade.

“She won well two starts ago and then I tried her in a Saturday Sydney grade over the 2400m.

“It was a pretty strong race and she’s probably not quite up to that.

“She looks pretty well placed in this race and back at the Provincials. I think she will be much better suited back at this level.”

Lane believes a softer track on Sunday will also suit Oakfield Gettem, who previously tasted success over the 1100m at Wyong in June last year.

She starts in the 1100m Class 1, which according to Lane should be ideal.

“She went really well first up and was then a bit plain second up at Wyong. It was probably one of the hardest tracks we’ve raced on that day and she just jarred up a bit.

“I think with some rain about the moisture in the track will suit her better on Sunday.

“I would of preferred a soft draw because if you’ve got to use her early she tends to go on with the job and not relax but she will start from 10.

“My other runner Oakfield Cheyenne hasn’t shown a lot to date and I think if she is going to show us something it will be when she gets to a mile and beyond. Sunday will be just more a fitness run for her.”


 Race 1 – 1.30pm: YOU’LL LOVE IT! BY THE HALEKULANI BOWLING CLUB 4YO & MAIDEN PLATE (1100m): 1 SHADOW COLOUR, 2 Monstrosity, 3 Freeifica, 4 Pure Faith.

Race 2 – 2.05pm: THE JETT’S FITNESS @SAN REMO AUSSIE DAY HORSEPLAY MAIDEN PLATE (1600m): 1 LADY LEGEND, 2 Luvoir, 3 Sebourg, 4 Haunting Spirit.

Race 3 – 2.40pm: CAPITAL ONE REAL ESTATE AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, RUN…RUN…RUN MAIDEN HANDICAP (1350m): 1 CAPRI OF TUFFY, 2 Gogol, 3 Enchantingly, 4 Atherton.

Race 4 – 3.15pm: THE ALLOOM BEAUTY AUSSIE DAY DASH CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1100m): 1 ACUMEN, 2 Hyannis Port, 3 Mandirigma, 4 Circus.

Race 5 – 3.50pm: THE EVENT CINEMAS GOLD CLASS GALLOP BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (2100m): 1 MERLINITE, 2 Elleofadeel, 3 Lavish Rose, 4 Duclair.

Race 6 – FREDDY’S FISHING.COM.AU BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1000m): 1 TURNSTYLE, 2 Moccasin Miss, 3 My Fire Phoenix, 4 Margie Bee.

Race 7 – 5.00pm: 101.3’s TOP KOALA-T RACE DAY BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 DESIGNATED, 2 Parry Sound, 3 Hammond Lane, 4 Mr McBat.



By Frances O’Shea, Photos Steve Hart

Grant Buckley continued a winning run with a treble at Wyong, his second in just eight days.

The in-form rider rode a double for Godolphin with Canzonet and Rebukes, and booted home Opinions for Paul Perry.

Buckley had a standout season in 2018/2019 with 104 winners but looks set to surpass that figure with 57 to date.

His Wyong treble giving him nine winners in the past eight days.

Buckley’s first win came on well-bred Godolphin gelding Canzonet, who may have earned a reprieve from the sales ring after his impressive win in the WWW.TAB.COM.AU 4YO & UP MAIDEN over 1200m.

Canzonet (Photo Steve Hart)

The Exceed And Excel gelding was the first leg of a winning double for jockey Grant Buckley.

Darren Beadman, representing Godolphin, said he felt they might now reconsider the sale.

“The way he won there I’d think they could have second thoughts,” he said.

“He really put them away. It’s only his sixth start and he’s been placed three times.

“Bucko had a few options coming into the turn, but he opted to go wide and got the job done.”

Buckley, gave Canzonet a nice trail just off the pace, hooking to the outside on straightening, and drawing away on the line to win by more than three lengths.

Monstrosity ($6) from the Joe Pride stable was second, from the Pat Webster trained Lake Marion ($18).

The winner was sent out $1.24 short priced favourite on the strength of his last run, when he was narrowly defeated over 1100m at Hawkesbury.


A great front running saw Buckley secured his second victory on the Paul Perry trained Opinions ($6.50) in the CANADIAN CLUB CLASS 2 over 1600m.

A $220,000 So You Can Think gelding, Opinions ($6.50) brought up his second career win at start 17.

He was able to hold off the fast finishing Doctor Manhattan ($2.80fav) on the line to score a narrow victory.

Buckley considers there is further improvement to come in the four-year-old.

“It was a nice win today. I was able to dictate terms and quicken when I wanted to quicken and that won me the race,” he said.

Opinions (Photo Steve Hart)

“From the 500m I was able to get going on my bike and with no weight on his back, he did a great job.

“He’s got improvement in him. He will be a better horse on a bigger track and probably over a little bit further.”

Judicator ($3.30) from the Gerald Ryan stable was third.


The Godolphin trained Rebukes ($4.80) was the third leg of Buckley’s treble, taking out the 1350m MERCURE KOOINDAH WATERS GOLF & SPA RESORT F&M BENCHMARK 64.

The Sepoy mare proved too strong for her opposition on the line, scoring a one and a quarter length win over $4.80 equal favourites Nines Enough, trained by Gabrielle Englebrecht, with Money Heist ($5.50) from the Waterhouse/Bott stable, third.

Rebukes (Photo Steve Hart)

Darren Beadman was full of praise for the ride by Buckley.

“He rode her really well. He had options again on the turn and took the right one,” he said.

“Obviously she’s stepping up in distance a little bit but being by Sepoy, they tend to get better as they get older.

“She will go through her grades and I’m sure James will find a nice race for her somewhere.

“She’s 480kg, a big girl, and she could make a nice horse.”


Irish jockey Oison Orr added to his tally of Wyong winners with a double for the Waller stable.

Orr, who arrived in Sydney in late November, has had four rides at Wyong for three wins.

His latest double came on Sayl, who broke through for his debut win in the 1600m maiden, and Duneagle, who took out the 1350m maiden.

Orr is a two-time champion Irish apprentice, spending three months with the Waller stable.

Oison Orr (Photo Steve Hart)

He has more than 120 winners to his name, five of those since arriving in Sydney.

“It’s been lucky enough here for me and I like the track,” Orr said. “I’m really enjoying my stint in Sydney.”

Relocating from Victoria proved the key for Sayl who broke through for his first win in the 1600m CENTRAL COAST BUILDING MAIDEN.

The four-year-old Great Britain import was having his 13th career start, and first in NSW, having been placed on three prior occasions in France and once at Moonee Valley.

“Chris likes to move them around if he thinks they have improvement in them, if they are getting bored or need more confidence and it worked a treat for this bloke today,” stable foreman Craig Ritchie said.

“He is still learning and is a horse that doesn’t have a lot of confidence, and does a lot wrong, so it was great to see him get a win today.

“He will continue to improve and should take plenty away from the win today.

“Oison (Orr) gave him the run of the race and that certainly helped. He is riding really well.”

Orr settled the gelding midfield, hitting the lead on straightening and drawing away to win by almost two lengths.

It was the second Wyong win for Orr, who claimed several Irish apprenticeships before coming to Australia in December.

Sayl ($7) beat Keen On Gold ($4) trained by Jason Coyle, with the race favourite Flying Mojo ($3.20) from the Anthony Cummings stable, third.

Ritchie considers Duneagle has a bright future following his victory in the 1350m RYAN’S METAL AND ROOFING MAIDEN.

The Dissident three-year-old, a $215,000 yearling, was gelded following his debut run at Canterbury on August 7.

“He did a fair bit wrong in his first start but seems to have come back a much better horse this time in,” Ritchie said.

“The owners have a smart horse on their hands.”

Orr said Duneagle still had plenty to learn.

“Once I got in behind the horse he switched off and was perfect, but early on he was a bit keen.

“He finished off well.”

Duneagle ($15) beat the Les Bridge trained Lady Legend ($13), with another Waller runner, Space Is Deep ($12) third.


Stable favourite Carluca ($5.50) put a smile on the face of trainer Jarrod Austin, defying a previous ordinary first up record to win the JIM BEAM CG&E BENCHMARK 64 over 1350m.

The eight-year-old gelding proved too strong for his opposition, holding out the fast finishing runners-up, to win by a short half head,

“He’s a stable favourite and it’s great to see him win today, particularly first up,” Austin said.

“He’s been working well, and his trial was good. He’s never showed us much first up, but he did today.

“He’s a horse that looks after himself in track work but he’s tough. His class showed through today.”

Austin said he would likely find a metropolitan race for Carluca.

“He’ll go back to town now, where he belongs. It’s a great way to start the new year.”

Ridden by apprentice Tom Sherry, Carluca brought up his eighth career win from 54 starts.

He beat the Craig Carmody trained Buzz ($31), with Salsa Man ($4.80) from the Perry stable, third.


Mitchell Bell believes Bushido could be headed for a higher grade after making it back to back wins with his victory in 1100m HIT 101.3 FAMILY RACE DAY JANUARY 26 CLASS 1.

The three-year-old gelding, trained by Bjorn Baker, was having his third race start, after tasting success at Nowra on December 8 over the same distance.

Bell settled him just off the pace throughout, before taking him wide on straightening and finishing strongly to run down the leaders on the line.

He was happy with the performance of The Factor gelding.

“He’s come from a maiden at Nowra back to provincial grade, so it’s a good result,” Bell said.

“He felt good going through the line and is improving. He feels like a potential 1400m horse, so they have a few options.”

Bushido ($6), beat the Gwenda Markwell trained Philanthropist ($21), with Mandirigma ($5) from the Lees stable, third. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Wayne Seelin

Saturday looms as a big day for Wayne Seelin with the Wyong based trainer saddling up more than half his stable at two venues.

His consistent galloper Cliff’s Choice and maiden Doin’ Shots will be racing on their home track, while veteran Isorich and speedy mare Invincible Kiss line up at the Kensington meeting.

 “It will be a busy day and be great to see them all run well,” Seelin said.

“We have been enjoying a nice little patch at the moment with a few winners, so it would be good if that can continue.

“I’m training about seven horses at present and happy with that number. I do them all myself so don’t want to get much bigger and I’ve got a good bunch of owners at the moment.”

Seelin believes Cliff’s Choice, coming off a fifth at Wyong last start, should run well over his ideal distance.

He lines up from barrier seven in the 1350m BM64, with Winona Costin in the saddle.

“He jarred up a bit last run and I would have liked to have seen a bit of rain but unfortunately that didn’t happen. We’ve been doing a bit with him but he’s going alright now.

“His best distance is anywhere between 1200m to 1400m and he goes well around Wyong.

“I’d probably like to see him just off the speed, in the first five or six, that’s when he seems to finish off well.”

Seelin said if Cliff’s Choice continued to improve, he would consider a metropolitan start.

“They all get their turn if they deserve it, but they have to earn the right to go. “He’s doing everything right at this stage.”

Seelin isn’t as upbeat about the chances of his maiden runner Doin’ Shots, a Shooting To Win gelding who has been unplaced in eight starts.

“He’s a big horse and it’s taking a bit to get him fit,” he said. “He’s been struggling in his races, but he is bred to stay.

“He’s over the 1600m on Saturday and I’ll continue stepping him up but if he doesn’t show us something, he might have a limited future.”

At Kensington, Seelin considers both his runners’ chances.

“Isorich has drawn the outside gate again but I’m not too worried. He will push forward and be a chance.

“The other little one is flying at the minute and with no weight and barrier one, she will be a sneaky chance too.”

Wyong’s Summer Festival Of Racing, continues with a seven race meeting, getting underway at 12.59pm.


 Race 1 – 12.59pm: WWW.TAB.COM.AU 4YO & UP MAIDEN (1200m): 1  CANZONET, 2 Monstrosity, 3 Lake Marion, 4 Supra Marnium.

Race 2 – 1.34pm: HIT 101.3 FAMILY RACE DAY JANUARY 26 CLASS 1 (1100m): 1 MANDIRIGMA, 2 Deepfield’s Raine, 3 Bushido, 4 Belle Of Clonmel.

Race 3 – 2.09pm: CENTRAL COAST BUILDING MAIDEN (1600m): 1MCGRAW, 2 Sayl, 3 Completed, 4 Keen On Gold.

Race 4 – 2.44pm: RYAN’S METAL ROOFING MAIDEN (1350m): 1 CHANTING, 2 First Crown, 3 California August, 4 Lady Legend.

Race 5 – 3.16pm: CANADIAN CLUB CLASS 2 (1600m): 1 FAIRY ME HOME, 2 Highjacker, 3 Judicator, 4 Mowanjum.

Race 6 – 3.56pm: MECURE KOOINDAH WATERS GOLF & SPA RESORT F&M BENCHMARK 64 (1350m): 1 MONEY HEIST, 2 Oxford Bella, 3 Rebukes, 4 Nines Enough.

Race 7 – 4.36pm: JIM BEAM CG&E BENCHMARK 64 (1350m):  1TRENGGANU, 2 Quick Finance, 3 The Raid, 4 Salsa Man.