“DRIVE for show, putt for dough” is one of golf’s familiar sayings.
Whilst Hawkesbury trainer Mick Attard isn’t picking up a golf club, he won’t mind the car drive from home to Wyong at all on Wednesday if his recent acquisition Putt For Dough can sink his rivals.
The lightly-raced Winning Rupert four-year-old has his second start for Attard in the Save The Date – Northlakes Toukley Rotary Race Day Saturday March 25 Provincial Maiden Handicap (1200m).
Having ridden winners at Wyong when apprenticed to Paul Cave in Sydney, he is keen to not only breakthrough for his first winner at the track as a trainer, but even more so to repay owner Bernie Young’s faith.
“I had never trained for Bernie, who has carnival rides and he followed me closely when I was training in Central Queensland,” Attard said. “He promised to buy me a horse after I moved back to New South Wales and settled at Hawkesbury. That was before I got hurt (Attard sustained life-threatening injuries when double-barrelled by one of his horses West Elk on the first morning of a new season, August 1, 2021, and has made a remarkable recovery after undergoing a number of operations).
“Bernie kept his word and bought this horse online for $5000 through Bloodstockauction.com last October after he had raced only once earlier that month and finished sixth of eight runners at Tamworth. He didn’t like the horse’s original name Vermeulen and changed it to Putt For Dough.
“I got him going and won an 800m trial with him at home (Hawkesbury) in December.
“Reece Jones rode him and suggested we should have a crack at a midweek race in town first-up.
“Putt For Dough loomed up strongly in the straight in a 1200m Maiden and only got tired the last bit when fourth to Mad Darcey, beaten less than two lengths. He has trained on well since that race, and hopefully we have found a nice race for him, going back to provincial company at Wyong.
“I’m sure he will be very competitive. Reece is suspended, so Winona Costin (who rode the last two winners at the last Wyong meeting on January 7) takes over.”
Putt For Dough fetched $30,000 when sold as a yearling at the2020 Inglis Classic sale and has a winning pedigree. His sire Winning Rupert was unbeaten at his first five starts and retired to stud after finishing fourth in the 2017 Magic Millions 3YO Guineas as an odds-on favourite, while his dam, the now deceased Encosta De Lago mare Margham, won four races (including two at Rosehill Gardens and another at Sandown).
Attard’s gelding is one of four Hawkesbury representatives in a field of eight at Wyong and is disputing early favouritismwith Wayne Austin’s Jabali Belle.
Terry Croft’s I’m A Shaker (Tyler Schiller) is next favoured in latest TAB.com.au betting.
Jabali Belle was a beaten favourite at only her third start when fifth to Galactic Angel in a 1300m Maiden at Wyong on December 24 following two placings on her home track, whilst I’m A Shaker has raced only twice since joining Croft’s stable and was third to Chipper in a 3YO Maiden (1100m) at that same meeting.
Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup has booked Brett Prebble for both his Wyong runners; Justina in Wyong Race Club’s Half Year Membership $30 F&M Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) and The Halo (Wyong’s Family Fun Day This Sunday January 22, 2023 F&M Benchmark 64 Handicap, 1350m).
Prebble rode Widdup’s Group 1 winning mare Icebath in a Warwick Farm trial this morning, and will partner her for the first time in a race when she resumes in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 11.
Racing NSW stewards have given Keagan Latham permission to ride Shiffrin 0.5kg over in the Sky Racing Midway Maiden Handicap (1000m) where Bryce Heys’ Dancing Alone is a dominant pre-post favourite.
There will be no more interesting runner than the I Am Invincible three-year-old, who fetched a cool $1.4m at the 2021 Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale. She goes to Wyong on the back of an 805m Warwick Farm trial success on January 3.
Dancing Alone is one of five rides for Alysha Collett on the seven-race card.
The rail is out 3m for the entire circuit, and a “Good 4” rating has been posted. Racing begins at 1.45pm.
Race 1 – 1.45pm: GREAT NORTHERN 4YO & UP MAIDEN HANDICAP, 1600m: 1 STREET CANDI, 2 Maralago, 3 Julimar, 4 Hillbilly Pickin’.
Race 2 – 2.20pm: SAVE THE DATE – NORTHLAKES TOUKLEY ROTARY RACE DAY SAT MARCH 25 PROVINCIAL MAIDEN HCP, 1200m: 1 PUTT FOR DOUGH, 2 Jabali Belle, 3 I’m A Shaker, 4 Meet Me InBondi.
Race 3 – 2.55pm: TAB CLASS 1 HANDICAP, 1200m: 1 MAD DARCEY, 2 Hamaki, 3 Vindication, 4 Par Five.
Race 4 – 3.30pm: SKY RACING MIDWAY MAIDEN HANDICAP, 1000m: 1 DANCING ALONE, 2 Mr Kennedy, 3 Royal Empress, 4 Fourth Spargo.
Race 5 – 4.05pm: WYONG RACE CLUB’S HALF YEAR MEMBERSHIP $30 F&M BENCHMARK 64 HCP, 1100m: 1 FLYING ANNIE, 2 Jayanthi, 3 Justina, 4 Zetarita.
Race 6 – 4.40pm: HUCKEL EXCAVATIONS CG&E BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP, 1350m: 1 JOURNALISM, 2 Mihocek, 3 Dirty Merchant, 4 Piraeus.
Race 7 – 5.15pm: WYONG’S FAMILY FUN DAY THIS SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2023 F&M BENCHMARK 64 HCP, 1350m: 1 DEFINITELY MAYBE, 2 Pink Baroque, 3 Linguee, 4 Silvakia.