Kristen Buchanan had a dream start to her Saturday taking out the Midway at Randwick and posting a home track victory, all within 20 minutes. 

Bruce McKenzie’s Oakfield Waratah scored in the Midway, the consistent four-year-old bringing up his second Midway win and fourth victory from just 10 starts. 

Minutes later Gardenzio ($15) was too strong in the Best Wishes On Your Retirement Kevin Miller Maiden, over 1100m with Kody Nestor in the saddle.
The son of Menari was having just his second career start, the addition of blinkers and a great front running ride by Kody Nestor securing his first victory.

Gardenzio had raced greenly on debut at Kembla over 1200m but going back in distance and sporting blinkers gave him plenty of confidence to post his debut win. 

Nestor took him to the lead from the start and in a perfectly rated ride, kicked on the turn and drew away in the straight to win by almost three lengths. 

The Midway victory was Buchanan’s 10th in the race, earning her the nickname Midway Queen, with her two Saturday wins taking her season tally to 34, equaling last season’s tally with two weeks remaining.


In a great start to the day for local trainers Allan Kehoe made it back-to-back Wyong winners with his consistent gelding Lord Bob ($8) taking out the Germany WWC Welcome To Wyong Maiden.

The Office Bearer gelding had been placed third at Wyong in his two previous starts since resuming from a spell, so there was plenty of confidence from the stable that he could be in the finish. 

In another strong front running ride, Grant Buckley took Lord Bob to the lead before drawing away in the straight to post a half-length win. 

Former trainer Nicole Hudson is in the ownership of Lord Bob, who has now posted a win and three placings from his six starts. 

The Waller trained Gago finished strongly in third and looks like he would be better suited on a bigger track. 

“It was a good tough win, and we are really happy with how he’s going,” Kehoe said. 

Both the Kris Lees and Jarrod Austin stable trained doubles. 

Darryl McLellan lifted Lees first winner Ideel Hero ($4.80) to victory in the1600m Kimberly Burke Celebration Provincial Maiden.

The Dundeel gelding looked certain to be beaten after being headed by Killer Kerr in the final stages, but the veteran jockey was able to lift the three-year-old on the line. 


Hellavadancer ($3.50fav) was Lees second winner taking out the Happy 50th Birthday Darin F&M BM64 (1350m), with Andrew Gibbons in the saddle. 

Australian Bloodstock’s Hellbent three-year-old brought up her third win from 14 starts with three minor placings. 

Stable representative Danny Greer said they had expected the filly to appreciate the race well. 

“The drop back in grade suited her and we wanted her to be ridden more positively. She’s a much better filly when she leads, and it was good to get her back to the winner’s circle.”

Jarrod Austin trained a race to race double with Deep Field gelding Vindication ($1.85fav) and Remus ($5.50), who posted his first win in more than two years. 

The five-year-old son of Vancouver had last tasted success at Hawkesbury in June 21, with yesterday’s victory in the Drew Chivas Memorial BM64 (1600m) a welcome return to the winner’s circle. 

Jess Taylor chased the leaders down in the straight, bursting through on the line for a narrow win. 

Four-year-old Vindication completed Austin’s double, justifiying his short price with an impressive two length win in the Go Matildas 2023 – FIFA Women’s World Cup Midway Class 1 (1200m).

The gelding was resuming from a spell following two trials. Keagan Latham took Vindication to the front on straightening and put paid to the opposition with a dominant win. 

Godolphin two-year-old Razors ($2.50fav) looked a class above his rivals bringing up his debut win in the Wyong Cup Carnival August 27 & September 1 2YO Maiden (1200m) ridden by Christian Reith.

The son of Sidestep was resuming from a spell and brought up his first win at start five. 

A freshen up seemed to do the trick for Bjorn Baker’s Hollywood Hero ($4.40) who was given a great ride by apprentice Jett Stanley to score his second win in the Get Well Soon Gary Harley CG&E BM64 (1350m).

Stanley gave the three-year-old a rails-hugging ride, before taking a gap in the straight and drawing away to win by a length. 

There were excuses for the  $3.50 favorite Smooth Flight hung in badly in the final stages.

There was plenty of praise for the track, a credit to Phil Robinson and his team. 



Denim Wynen is confident she can saddle up a home track winner at Saturday’s final Wyong meeting of the season. 

Obvious Step lines up in the 1350m F&M BM64 and Wynen believes the consistent mare is primed to bring up win number six. 

The five-year-old daughter of Sidestep was narrowly beaten at her last start at Gosford over 1200m on July 6, finishing less than a length behind the winner.

Wynen has opted to back her up ten days later knowing she is race fit and ready to win. 

“I really think she’ll be hard to beat. I thought she should have won last start at Gosford, but she didn’t get any clear running in the straight. 

“Her first two runs this time in were in a lot tougher company and then she had no luck at her past two starts at Gosford and Newcastle. 

“She meets the top two horses on Saturday with some weight relief and plenty of race fitness.”

It will be the first time Obvious Step has raced on her home track and Wynen is hoping it won’t be an issue. 

“She’s a bit of a hot head but really quiet when she gets to the races. I’m not sure how she will cope with just walking down the road to the race day stalls but if she handles that okay I think she can win.”

Wynen has opted for a rider change in Heavelon Van Der Hoven, on the recommendation of one of her owners. 

“He comes from the same place as one of the owners, naturally he’s a bit of a fan, so we decided to go with him. He rides well and I was happy to get him on.”

Wynen is shooting for her fifth winner for the season and happy with how things are ticking along for her small stable. 

“I’ve got two young children and do everything myself, so having just six in work is a good number. We’ve had a pretty good season and I’m excited about the prospects of several of the horses in the stable.”

It could by a big day for the Wyong trainers, who saddle up 16 runners across the eight races. 

The meeting will be last for General Manager Robin Taylor, who leaves at the end of July to take up a position as General Manager at the Forster Tuncurry Golf Club. 

The first of eight races gets underway at 12.05pm, with the track currently rated a soft 5, with the rail in the true position. 


Race 1 – 12.05pm: BEST WISHES ON YOUR RETIREMENT KEVIN MILLER MAIDEN (1100m): 1 PUDACIOUS, 2 Condordia, 3 Gardenzio, 4 Desert Safari.

Race 2 – 12.40PM: GERMANY – WWC 2023 – WELCOME TO WYONG MAIDEN (1350m): 1 PRINCESS RAYAA, 2 Encroachment, 3 Gago, 4 Lod Bob.

Race 3 – 1.15pm: WYONG CUP CARNIVAL AUGUST 27 & SEPTEMBER 1 2YO MAIDEN (1200m): 1 HIGH KING, 2 Broadway Bouncer, 3 Global Pivot, 4 Bucareli Bay.

Race 4 – 1.5opm: THE KIMBERLEY BURK CELEBRATION PROVINCIAL MAIDEN (1600m): 1 COMMUNITY, 2 Ideel Hero, 3 Killer Kerr, 4 Penfold Park. 

Race 5 – 2.25pm: DREW CHIVAS MEMORIAL BM64 (1600m): 1KOKOSHNIK,2 Scat’s Surfer Girl, 3 Nyika, 4 Badda Boom Baby.

Race 6 – 3.05pm: GO MATILDAS 2023 – FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP MIDWAY CLASS 1 (1200m): 1 C’MON MATE, 2 Lady Harlem, 3 Chipper, 4 Vindication.

Race 7 – 3.45pm: HAPPY 50TH DARIN F&M BM64 (1350m): 1 SHIFFRIN, 2 Hinchinjive, 3 Hallavadancer, 4 Obvious Step. 

Race 8 – 4.20pm: GET WELL SOON GARY HARLEY CG&E BM64 (1350m): 1 SKYLIGHT SON, 2 Smooth Flight, 3 Royal Charge, 4 Hollywood Hero. 

Shaken & soobooco star at wyong

Shaken & soobooco star at wyong 5

ON a dreary and wet day, a couple of lightly-raced horses were indeed shining lights.

Whilst it wasn’t a feature meeting, both Shaken and Soobooco won their respective races impressively enough to suggest they can reach greater heights.

Having only her second start and first since February, the beautifully-bred Shaken ($3.80) trounced her rivals in the Magic Millions – Club Sponsor 2002-2027 2YO Fillies Maiden Handicap (1000m).

Three-year-old Soobooco was all the rage at $1.50 for the Ladies’ Day August 27 In Support of The Iris Foundation Midway Maiden Plate (1100m), and gave connections and punters alike no cause for concern.

Shaken was quickly into stride, and had no trouble shaking off $2.15 favorite Love and Light’s short-lived challenge on straightening to romp home by nearly three lengths.

She had run last on debut on the Kensington track on February 3, but there were excuses.

Shaken overraced and was reluctant to settle, and her rider Jason Collett eased her out of the race near the 300m when she continued to hang out.

Trainer James Cummings had to barrier trial Shaken to RacingNSW stewards’ satisfaction – which he did 18 days later at Hawkesbury, and then gave her a break.

Since returning to work, the filly had given a taste of her ability with easy barrier trial victories at Rosehill Gardens (900m on June 6) and Hawkesbury (800m 13 days later).

A daughter of the brilliant sire I Am Invincible, Shaken is the fifth foal of the 2014 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner and Golden Slipper Stakes runner-up Earthquake.

“She is the most athletic horse Earthquake has produced,” stable spokesman Darren Beadman said afterwards.

“James (Cummings) has been patient with her, and she has strengthened up nicely.

“Zac Lloyd knows how to ride a fast horse fast, and she won with a lot of authority.

“Shaken is a really good type, and wouldn’t look out of place on the catwalk.”

Newcastle trainer Mark Minervini was delighted to get Soobooco into the winning list at his first start since late January after being placed at four (all seconds) of his previous five outings.

A $100,000 purchase at the 2021 Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast, breeder Max Whitby took a share in the young horse when Minervini bought him.

“Soobooco ran against some good horses earlier in his career, and I recommended to his owners that we pull up stumps in January and wait for winter as he had shown me soft tracks would suit him,” Minervini explained.

“The rain arrived on time, and it was an easy watch.

“I’m sure we can win a few more with him in the next couple of months.”

Soobooco’s victory continued a very successful season for Minervini, the former Adelaide trainer who relocated to Newcastle in 2019.

The gelding was his 24th winner – five of them have been at Wyong – since August, and he said he has built good clients, and has been gradually getting a better quality of horse.

Soobooco sat behind the speed, loomed up on straightening and looked to have plenty in reserve as he stretched clear of fellow Newcastle trainer Nathan Doyle’s Amberina ($8) in the closing stages.

Winning rider Jason Collett said Soobooco was “quite progressive”, and appreciated the wet ground.

Who would have expected an ATC Derby runner-up to be lining up at the provincials in a restricted race – but there he was in the Happy Retirement Isorich Class 1/Maiden Plate (2100m)!

Not surprisingly, Benaud was a $1.26 favorite and outclassed his four rivals by more than six lengths.

A 1400m Nowra Maiden winner on debut in September 2021, Benaud was narrowly beaten by Hitotsu in the 2400m ATC Derby the following autumn.

However, he had failed to get the winning feeling again in 11 subsequent starts – all in good company – and trainer John O’Shea sent him to Wyong to gain a confidence boosting breakthrough.

“He needed to do that, and it was good to see him do so,” said O’Shea’s foreman Tom Charlton.

“We’ve been so happy with the horse over the last 12 months even though he wasn’t winning, and went all over him and couldn’t find anything wrong.

“All going well, he will go to the Grafton Cup now.”

The $200,000 Listed Cup (2350m) will be run on Thursday week (July 13) as the highlight of the carnival.

Benaud’s victory – only the second of his 20-start career – put up a double for one of Sydney’s leading apprentices, Tyler Schiller.

He had earlier won the Become A Wyong Race Club Member for Just $55 Maiden Plate (1350m) on $1.90 favorite Double Scoop, who broke through at her ninth start.

The Press Statement three-year-old was dropping back to provincial grade after two recent Sydney appearances; the latest when runner-up at Canterbury on June 21.

Schiller always had her in a prominent position, and she was too good for Burns To Embrace ($5.50) and Lord Bob ($21).

Double Scoop’s Royal Randwick trainer John Thompson got punters off to a flyer by winning the first two races with odds-on favorites.

Regally-bred Kingston Charm ($1.90), with another leading apprentice Reece Jones aboard, took the De Bortoli 3YO Maiden Handicap (1600m).

The filly fetched only $19,000 as an online buy in May 2020, and like her stablemate Double Scoop, also was racing for the ninth occasion.

Though not brilliantly away, Jones took full advantage of Kingston Charm’s soft draw to settle her in a prominent position before securing a split between third placegetter Rabairneach ($3.50) and runner-up Sonny Fella ($20) to outgame that pair in the last 50 metres.

It took six races before the locals joined the winning list – and Damien Lane did it in style, courtesy of a classy Rachel King front-running ride on Dundeel four-year-old Oakfield Redgum ($5).

Lane made it 30 wins for the season; four of them in the last four days.

He scored with Oakfield Mahogany at Kembla Grange last Saturday, and then clinched a double with Deep Opinions and Propel Motion at the opening of Grafton’s July carnival a day later.

Oakfield Redgum maintained a good gallop right to the line to defeat recent Hawkesbury winner Queen Astrid ($3.70) and fellow Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan’s Blue Guitar ($21), in the Consider Race Sponsorship at Wyong Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1600m).

“She has been looking for the 1600m, and the sting out of the ground,” Lane said.

“I probably made a mistake by keeping her at 1400m last time when she was a bit dour.  

“Oakfield Redgum won her maiden at Port Macquarie by a big margin on a soft track last August, and it was heavy today and she handled it well.

“I think she can manage up to 2000m, and she excels on these wet tracks.”

Newcastle’s gun apprentice Dylan Gibbons tagged Orlabent as a “quality horse” after the three-year-old completed a hat-trick in the Carlton Wyong Gold Cup Friday September 1 Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m).

“He probably wasn’t all that comfortable on the heavy ground, and I feel he will be an even better horse next preparation,” Gibbons said.

Orlabent ($3 second favorite) took the length of the straight to get there in the nick of time, but responded gamely to nab Shezanalister ($7) in the last couple of bounds.

The lightly-raced Hellbent three-year-old has had four starts since joining leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ stable.

After Orlabent ran a promising second first-up over 1000m at the Scone carnival on May 12, Lees took blinkers off him – and he has rattled off subsequent wins at Wyong (twice) and Port Macquarie in between.

Whereas racing began on a “Soft 6” rating, rain during the meeting resulted in a gradual downgrade to a “Heavy 9” for the final three events.

Jockey Tom Sherry ended the day on a winning note, but not before he said “everything that could go wrong did go wrong” with Invictus Lad ($4.40) in the Wyong’s Next Race Meeting Saturday July 15 Class 1 Handicap (1350m).

“He was playing up in the stalls and didn’t jump well, but got into a nice rhythm once he settled,” Sherry said.

“Peter and Paul Snowden have been looking for a wet track for him, and he toughed it out well at the end.”

 Invictus Lad moved up menacingly wide on the home turn and he, runner-up Skylight Song ($3.80 favorite) and third placegetter Lease ($4.20), slogged it out over the last 200m.



A drop in grade should see John O’Shea’s Group 1 placed Benaud return to the winner’s circle at Wyong on Tuesday. 

O’Shea has opted to return Benaud to Provincial grade in an effort to build up his confidence. 

The Reliable Man gelding was touted as a champion stayer in the making following his narrow defeat in the G1 ATC Derby (2400m) at Randwick in April last year and subsequent second in the G3 Kings Town (2000m) on the same track in September. 

He was spelled after an unsuccessful Caulfield Cup appearance in the spring and was unplaced in all five starts in black type races last preparation before resuming in the 2000m Listed McKell Cup on June 17 where he finished well back in the field. 

O’Shea has now opted for the 2100m Class 1 and Maiden at Wyong in an attempt to return the four-year-old to winning form. 

“I was disappointed with him in the autumn, “O’Shea said. “I thought we should drop him back in grade and try to build up his confidence. 

“Winning is a habit and we can get the horse back winning then we can revisit what we can do with him later in the year.”

Tyler Schiller will partner Benaud along with O’Shea’s second runner Infinite Rose.

The Astern filly debuts in the 1000m 2YO Fillies Maiden, coming off two recent metropolitan trials. 

She impressed with her latest outing, narrowly beaten at Canterbury over 900m on June 26, coming off a third at a 740m Randwick trial two week earlier.  

Success by O’Shea on Tuesday could help him secure his second Wyong Trainers Premiership.

With only two meetings remaining he currently leads the way with nine winners on the track, two head of two ahead of father and son combo Peter and Paul Snowden, with Mark Newnham, who recently relocated to Hong Kong, and Brad Widdup on six.

O’Shea last claimed the Wyong title in the 2015/2016 season when he was at the helm of the Godolphin stable. 

Kristen Buchanan leads the way for the locals with five winners on her home track, one ahead of Kim Waugh, both saddling up runners at the meeting.

Things are equally as tight in the jockeys ranks with Josh Parr and Jay Ford both riding seven winners to date, one ahead of trio Tim Clark, Koby Jennings and Tom Sherry. 

Ford has a good opportunity to break clear with five rides, while Tyler Schiller, who has a narrow grasp on the Apprentices title with six wins, has a full book.

The first of eight races gets underway at 12.10pm. 


Race 1 – 12.10pm: DE BORTOLI 3YO MAIDEN (1600m): 1 KINGSTON CHARM, 2 Rabairneach, 3 Dancemania, 4 Discover.

Race 2 – 12.45PM: BECOME A WYONG RACE CLUB MEMBER FOR JUST $55 MAIDEN (1350m): 1 DOUBLE SCOOP, 2 Frank Express, 3 Burns To Embrace, 4 Lord Bob.

Race 3 – 1.20pm: MAGIC MILLIONS – CLUB SPONSOR 2002-2027 2YO FILLIES MAIDEN (1000m): 1 SHAKEN, 2 Lover And Light, 3 Infinite Rose, 4 Wezza.

Race 4 – 1.55pm: LADIES DAY AUGUST 27 IN SUPPORT OF THE IRIS FOUNDATION MIDWAY MAIDEN (1100m): 1 EXSENSIBLE, 2 Amberina, 3 Soobooco, 4 Parmenio.

Race 5 – 2.35pm: HAPPY RETIREMENT ISORICH CLASS 1 & MAIDEN (2100m): 1 BENAUD, 2 Got An Inspiration, 3 Fleet Commander, 4 Sky Out.

Race 6 – 3.10pm: CONSIDER RACE SPONSORSHIP AT WYONG PROVINCIAL CLASS 1 (1600m): 1 ALWAYS IN, 2 Queen Astrid, 3 Monte Outlander, 4 Oakfield Redgum.

Race 7 – 3.45pm: CARLTON WYONG GOLD CUP FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 1 BM64 (1100m): 1 ORLABENT, 2 Captain Bond, 3 Silvanito, 4 Meod.

Race 8 – 4.25pm: WYONG’S NEXT RACE MEETING SATURDAY JULY 15 CLASS 1 (1350m): 1 SKYLIGHT SON, 2 Modern Millie, 3 Lease, 4 Lysander.