Locals finished the program strongly at our Winter Race Day with Allan Kehoe and Kim Waugh both saddling up their first winners of the new season.
It was a meeting dominated by favourites, who were successful in six of the eight races, with doubles to Matthew Smith, the Peter and Paul Snowden and Jason Collett.
Kehoe kicked off the season with his consistent galloper Dreamdeel ($2.90fav) taking out the 1600m BM64, while Waugh’s Chipper broke through for a well-deserved win in the 1000m Midway BM64.
The 2022/23 season was one the best on record for Kehoe with 17 wins and he was confident his Dundeel gelding could start the new one with a victory.
Jason Collett took him to the lead around the 1200m mark stringing out the field before giving him a breather mid race. He held out the fast-finishing Oakfield Redgum to win by a head.
Kehoe said he had made the decision to start Dreamdeel in preference to a gallop leading into a Midway on Saturday week.
“We thought it would be better for him to go around today and it paid off,” he said. “I thought his class was a bit better than the rest of the field and that’s how it worked out.”
It was a Wyong trifecta with Brett Partelle’s Commander Bell ($21) putting in an improved performance to finish third.
Waugh kicked off the defense of her Wyong Trainers Premiership with Chipper ($2.40fav) bringing up his second win at start 13, with six minor placings.
The No Nay Never four-year-old had proved hard to work out in recent starts but Waugh’s decision to add blinkers and Jay Ford ‘s to take the sit in running, proved to be a winning combination.
“He’s going really well and had been there abouts in his runs this preparation without winning. We’ve moved him around in distance to see what works best and the addition of blinkers kept him more focused.”
Vegas Raider ($7.10) stormed home for second and isn’t far off a while, while Rodney Bailey’s Mr Bingo ($3.70).
Angela Davies Coco Dreaming ($6.50) may have bucked the trend for favorites but attracted the biggest cheer of the afternoon from her excited connections.
Davies has had to be patient with the four-year-old Pariah mare who was having her first start in the 1000m Provincial Maiden.
It was an impressive win by Coco Dreaming with Andrew Gibbons circling the field on the turn before drawing away in the straight to win by a length.
Nathan Doyle’s Boston Rocks ($1.65) attracted plenty of attention from punters sent out $1.65 favourite. The Hellbent three-year-old didn’t disappoint putting almost three lengths on his rivals, with Ashley Morgan in the saddle.
Doyle has a good opinion of Boston Rocks, who made it back-to-back wins with the Wyong victory.
“He’s shown us that he has a lot of talent to date. He’s got a bit to learn so we will take him through his grades,” Doyle said.
There was plenty of support for Snowden first starter Fire Star ($1.40) in the 1200m 3Y0 Maiden and the Deep Field colt got the job done but not without a late scare for punters.
Tom Sherry was positive from the gates and held the lead throughout, the result looking beyond doubt before Gold Bullion ($6) stormed home in the final stages to come within a short head of Fire Star.
The win was impressive, with a good watch on Waterhouse/Bott trained Gold Bullion when he gets over more ground.
Snowden’s made it a winning double when Zarrose ($2.60) defied a late betting drift to take out the 1350m Maiden.
The Exosphere filly looked impressive when finishing second on debut at Hawkesbury on July 9 over the 1300m and brought that form to Wyong to break through for her first win.
Andrew Atkins came from the clouds in the final stages after being placed awkwardly behind tiring runners and beat the Freedman trained Sense Of Humour ($14) by a half-length.
Matthew Smith relied on Wyong expert Tim Clark to get the job done on promising stayer Deep Voyage ($2.90) and he didn’t disappoint steering the four-year-old to victory in the 2100m Class 1 & Maiden.
Clark settled the Darby Racing gelding midfield and was able to angle clear from a tricky spot in the straight and find fresh air late to score by a length.
Smith was complimentary of Deep Voyage considering there is still plenty of improvement to come.
“He is doing a really good job for a horse in his first preparation,” Smith said.
“He is in no way seasoned just yet so it’s a bit hard for him in these races at this stage of his career and I think next time in, he will be a nice horse.”
Kristen Buchanan’s Blue Guitar ($26) battled on well to finish second after leading for much of the race.
Matthew Smith’s Chain Of Gold ($2.50) continued the trend of favourites greeting the judge, the Sooboog four-year-old’s second win in the 1350m BM68 giving both Smith and Jason Collett a winning double.
Smith had expected the gelding to improve on his last start at Taree, where he finished well back in the field.
“Everything went south that day, but I was confident if he could get back to his form two runs back, he would be competitive. It’s a big step up from a class 2 to a BM68 and I don’t do it very often,” Smith said.