Minervini’s birthday win

Minervini's birthday win 1

MARK Minervini rued he could have had an even bigger celebration had a storm not cost him the chance to clinch a Wyong double today.

Whilst the Newcastle trainer was naturally delighted to win a race on his birthday – for the second time in three years – with Smiling Prophet ($8.50) in the NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE F&M BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1100m), he didn’t get the chance to also win the DIMENSION ONE GLASS FENCING CG&E BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1100m) with Soobooco.

RacingNSW stewards called off the last two races due to ongoing storm activity, with lightning present and no imminent signs of improvement in the conditions. 

“It was bad luck because Soobooco has started twice previously at Wyong for a win and a second,” Minervini said.

“He likes soft ground, and there was enough give in the trackafter the storm hit to suit him.

“I thought he was the better chance of my two runners.”

Minervini’s success with Smiling Prophet rekindled a successful association with the mare’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy. Both are expatriate South Australians, and the trainer recalled McEvoy winning a race for him on John’s Brother ($7) in an Open Handicap (1050m) at Morphettville on April 20, 2002.

McEvoy went even further back. “Minners put me on a horse at Morphettville when I was a kid and apprenticed to Russell Cameron on loan,” he said.

“I’ve had a few rides for Mark without getting the money since he relocated to New South Wales, so it was good to get that win for him on his birthday.

“The mare did a good job after being a bit steady into stride.”

Minervini also won a race with Quick Tempo (a 1000m Benchmark 66 Handicap) at Taree on his birthday two years ago.

He paid $35,000 for Smiling Prophet at the 2021 Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association yearling sale, and the now four-year-old mare has more than recouped her purchase price.

Today’s win was her third, following earlier victories at Newcastle and Scone, and she has earned nearly $100,000 (including a BOBS bonus).

“Smiling Prophet is built like a quarter horse, but is a really good mare on her day,” Minervini said.

“She has been a little bit in and out, but appreciated the fast pace up front and it was good to see her do it.”

Fancied pair Chilli Filly ($2 favorite) and Flying Rani ($3) took each other on in front, and were sitting shots in the straight.

After being last settling down on Smiling Prophet, McEvoy saved ground near the inside before switching her around the three horses in front after straightening.

Just as runner-up Maz Kanata ($8) burst through on the inside and was being hailed the winner, Smiling Prophet swooped and won convincingly.

Punters had crashed in the first three races when the favoritesall bit the dust.

Newcastle three-year-old Uncle Harry ($1.80) was never a winning factor when third in the MERCURE KOOINDAH WATERS CLASS 1/MAIDEN PLATE (2100m).

Gun apprentice Dylan Gibbons, who won the recent Four Pillars at Rosehill Gardens for Sydney trainer David Payne, again produced the goods to score on $13 chance Mist Of Battle.

Payne had wanted Mist Of Battle to be ridden more forward, and Gibbons did exactly that and produced a comprehensive victory over Shemran ($7.50).

Things didn’t go Uncle Harry’s way, and he didn’t get into the clear until it was too late, so his third placing should be forgiven.

Coincidentally, Mist Of Battle also started at $13 in his only previous win – in a Gosford Maiden (1900m) 12 months ago, when Gibbons also had the mount.

Locally-trained Red Cobra ($2.80 favorite) couldn’t reproduce his home track breakthrough on November 11, and both he and second favorite Avonview ($3.20) never got into the picture in the STOP ABUSE AT THE START MIDWAY CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1600m), finishing seventh and fifth respectively.

Jockey Jay Ford “stole” the race, getting his own way out in front on Kembla Grange mare Justela ($8), who easily defeated Really Motivated ($14) and Flying Step ($7.50).

The first three placegetters raced in those positions virtually throughout, so it was little wonder backmarkers weren’t able to make their presence felt.

Winning trainer Kerry Parker said the plan was to quicken from the 600m, but Ford was able to control the race and everything worked out well.

“Justela has been going well but her last couple of runs were in slowly run races and she wasn’t able to outsprint them,” he said.

Purchased online in September last year as an unraced early four-year-old for only $1250, Justela has won two races under Parker’s care and earned nearly $58,000.

Racing’s unkindest cut of all seemingly has done the trick for Vomo Island, who broke through in the 1800 RESPECT SUPER 3YO MAIDEN PLATE (1200m).

Returning as a gelding, he justified his $1.70 favorite quote by defeating Mathkhoora ($4.40) and One Last Shot ($6.50).

“The stallion dream is over,” said Snowden Racing’s Colum McCullagh. “He is a racehorse now, and looks a lot more genuine.

“Vomo Island had trialled up pretty well, and we were pretty confident he could win his first race.”

Kerrin McEvoy, who won the previous race on Smiling Prophet, said he had hoped to settle closer on Vomo Island, going on how he had shaped in his recent trials.

“His best work was the last part of the race, and I’m sure he is open to going a bit further in distance,” he added.

A son of Dundeel, Vomo Island had raced five times as a colt for four placings. His sole unplaced run was when unplaced in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens in early September, after which he was gelded.

Trainer Jarrod Austin says the best is yet to come from Look At Moi Kim ($3.30 favorite) in the CONGRATULATIONS TEAM WYONG EQUIMILLIONS 4YO & UP MAIDEN HANDICAP (1350m).

“She has always shown some ability, and there’s a fair bit more to come,” Austin said after the daughter of Smart Missile broke through at her sixth start, relegating Princess Thalia ($4.60) and Meerut ($3.40) into the minor placings in a close finish.

“Look At Moi Kim wobbled around at her first two runs back at Kembla Grange and wasn’t beaten all that far, and then ran off the track at Bathurst when runner-up.

“Once she has filled out and matured, I feel she will be a very nice horse in 12 months’ time.”

Stewards dismissed a protest lodged by Princess Thalia’s rider Jason Collett against the winner, alleging interference over the concluding stages.

Third placegetter Meerut was game after being forced to race wide throughout, and deserves a change of luck.

There was no more impressive winner than Bojangles in the WELCOME KINGSTON INGLIS PROVINCIAL MAIDENPLATE (1100m); the last race run before the storm arrived.

The lightly-raced three-year-old, prepared locally by Kim Waugh, was having only his third start and first since July, and justified his short quote ($1.40 favorite).

Held up for clear running rounding the home turn, Bojangles sprinted quickly once Tommy Berry got him into the clear and his win was “soft” at the end over another local, Damien Lane’s All Too Zatso ($11), who also was held up for clear running at a similar stage, and Rum Diary ($4.80).

“He is only a little fella, and we tipped him out after his first two runs,” Waugh said. “He had a setback after one nice trial (third on the Beaumont track on October 24), but had a jumpout last week and showed he was back on track.”

There was extra significance for Waugh getting Bojangles’ maiden victory out of the way. He is a son of her former good mare Hetty Heights, who won a heat of the Provincial Championships at home in 2016 and was black type placed.

“Bojangles has a very similar personality to Hetty Heights, and I’m sure he will end up as good as her,” she said.



TALENTED Wyong apprentice Anna Roper will always remember her maiden home track success. 

The 21-year-old rode the 82nd winner of her blossoming career, not only on her master Damien Lane’s horse Red Cobra, but also in front of a special cheer squad. 

Riding to a plan devised beforehand on the backmarker, Roper got going early to clinch the gelding’s first win in the 1600m FREEMASONS ON THE CENTRAL COAST PROVINCIAL MAIDEN HANDICAP.

At his 14th start and following six minor placings, the Sebring four-year-old broke through after sustaining a determined run from the 700m.

“Anna hadn’t previously ridden a winner at Wyong, and said it was better than winning her first race in town (Lady Redwood at Warwick Farm early last month),” a delighted Lane said.


“She had family at the track to watch her, including her grandparents and a relative visiting from Canada.

“Anna rides Red Cobra work every morning, and really likes him, so it was a pretty special moment for her all round.”

Roper, who rode 42 winners in just under the first four months of last season until an after-race accident at Muswellbrook a year ago sidelined her for seven months, has hit the ground running since resuming her career.

She has ridden 25 winners (equal with Newcastle’s Dylan Gibbons) since August 1, and is only a half-win behind Zac Wadick in the NSW apprentices’ premiership.

A $30,000 yearling purchase, Red Cobra has overcome issues and is now starting to realise his earlier potential.

The manner of his performance suggests this first win won’t be his last.

Red Cobra was too strong over the closing stages for a gallant favorite Razella, who would have given her Hawkesbury trainer Steve O’Halloran the biggest day of his training career had she held out the local.


O’Halloran scored at Goulburn with Feel The Magic, and made it a double when Jaex took the RENTOKIL INITIAL SUPER MAIDEN PLATE (1300m).

The four-year-old daughter of Exosphere joined O’Halloran’s team earlier this year and was placed at her first three starts for him before shedding her maiden status with a win which never really looked in doubt once she took up the running.

Jaex beat local Aix En Provence, who ran on well, and heavily backed favorite Major Look, whose rider Keagan Latham afterwards told RacingNSW stewards the colt was making an abnormal respiratory noise throughout the race.

Whilst a post-race examination did not reveal anything, a veterinary clearance will need to be produced before Major Look can trial or race again.

Lane and The Big Dance winning trainer Sara Ryan kept the Wyong flag flying high with victories at one of the club’s few Saturday meetings of the racing year.

Ryan followed her $2m Big Dance triumph at Royal Randwick last Tuesday with Attractable by taking the opener, the GOSFORD MASONIC CENTRE BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1600m) with Vegas Outlaw (Grant Buckley).

A lightly-raced seven-year-old who is thriving under Ryan’s care, Vegas Outlaw left his rivals with no excuses. He steamrolled his opposition, clearing out in the last 150m to score by nearly five lengths.

Vegas Outlaw has started only 12 times, and has now won two in a row, following on from an easy Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1600m) success at Kembla Grange late last month.


Three-year-old filly Prima Bella (Ash Morgan) got her career off to the best possible start when she won the GARY TURNER MEMORIAL – ABBEY TIMBER 3YO MAIDEN HANDICAP (1000m).

The Per Incanto filly quickly mustered speed to take up the running, gave a good kick in the straight and held on gamely over the concluding stages.

Damien Lane’s All Too Hard filly All Too Zatso came from last at the 600m to gain her first placing from only four starts.

Jockey Deanne Panya pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge on Winning Run (last of eight starters) in this race, and was suspended from November 20 until 25, on which day she can resume riding.

Alysha Collett notched a double on Eau De Vie (PETER MAC’S SERVICE CENTRE CLASS 1 HANDICAP, 1350m) and One Destiny (WIDELINE WINDOWS & DOORS BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP, 1100m).

Collett took full advantage of Eau De Vie’s inside draw to give her the run of the race, and she moved up menacingly to join the tearaway leader Chesteray on the home turn.

After hitting the front on straightening, she responded gamely to hold out runner-up Emmadella’s late thrust.

One Destiny completed a successful day for his trainer Gary Nickson by running his rivals off their legs to post his fourth victory.

He never looked seriously threatened at his second run back and coming off a first-up fourth in town on the Kensington track.

Nickson also scored at Rosehill Gardens with Felix Majestic, who has now won three of his last four outings.

Critical Time was resuming for trainer Blake Ryan, and his strong finish into second placing behind One Destiny showed he is close to another win.

Only four horses contested the WYONG LEAGUES GROUP – THE ROOS FOUNDATION MIDWAY HANDICAP (1200m), but it developed into a thrilling two-horse contest.

Favorite Deceive (Keagan Latham) was seriously challenged by Struff (Andrew Calder) in the straight and it was a battle right to the line, with the former just nudging out her game rival.

Deceive did not help her chances by laying out from the 500m and also in the home straight, and stewards delayed posting correct weight to view the patrol films before deciding there were insufficient grounds to lodge a protest on behalf of the runner-up.



Dark Halo could be the horse to follow from Wyong’s GO Electrical Race Day following an impressive debut over 1100m. 

The flashy son of Zoustar hit the ground running in the OMNI – HAGER – CABAC CG&E MAIDEN and despite maintaining a high cruising speed, was able to quicken in the straight and win by four lengths.

The $280k Magic Millions yearling had won his previous two trials for the Maher/Eustace stable, the latest at Rosehill by almost 10 lengths. 

But he wasn’t without fault, stable representative Liam Ruddy describing Dark Halo ($2.25fav) as a “work in progress.”

“He’s been scratched at the barriers a few times, so it was good to see him stand there and do everything properly today. He’s here now and it was a really nice debut. Off the back of that you couldn’t be anything but excited.”

Dark Halo’s win brought up a double for Maher/Eustace and Jason Collett, with Costa Smeralda scoring earlier in the day. 


It was a family affair in the 2100m SAL – MATCHMASTER – OMEGA POWER BM64, father and daughter Richard and Alysha Collett combining for victory with Whetu.

The late money was spot on for the Dundeel six-year-old who was backed in from $3.80 to $2.50. 

He put paid to his opposition in the final stages, romping home by over eight lengths, to bring up his 4th career win. 

“I probably slaughtered him last start, so I’m surprised I got back on,” Collett laughed. “There were five leaders in the race today and that worked out well. I was able to keep him in his rhythm, keep him in the open and go through the gears.”


The family connection continued in the HANECO F&M MAIDEN with Jason Collett piloting Maher Eustace’s well bred filly Costa Smeralda ($3.50) to victory. 

There had been plenty of confidence from both the stable and Collett, who trialled the Exceed and Excel filly, that she would perform well on debut. 

She didn’t disappoint winning the1100m race by a length after showing plenty of early speed. 

“It’s good when a filly has got natural gate speed and takes luck out the equation,”  Liam Ruddy said. “She quickened nicely in the straight, giving the impression she might do something as the spring continues.”


It may have taken Kris Lees’ Satirical Fan eight starts to break his maiden, but he certainly did it in great fashion, winning the ROBUS LIGHTING – HPM LEGRAND – ELECTRA CABLES PROVINCIAL 4YO & UP MAIDEN over 1600m by almost nine lengths. 

Dylan Gibbons gave the So You Think gelding the perfect front running ride and was able to slip away in the straight for a very dominant win.

“He was beaten by a good horse last start, so we were confident today,” Danny Greer, representing the Lees stable, said. “I’d like to think he will go on improving as he steps up in distance.”


It was a race-to-race Lees/Gibbons double when consistent gelding Oakfield Prince ($2.05fav) took out the PSA – THORNE LIGHTING – APP BM64 over 1600m.

The So You Think six-year-old, raced by Bruce McKenzie, had been runner-up at his past two starts, but atoned for the losses with a three-length win. 

“It’s onwards and upwards for him now,” Gibbons said. “It’s a good sign when they can put them away like he did today.”

Mark Cross’s locally trained Sian ($7) stormed home to finish third.  


Gerald Ryan described the win by his All Too Hard gelding Let’s Try ($3.10) in the 1350m SCHNEIDER SUPER MAIDEN as “well deserved.”

The four-year-old brought up his first win at start six, with Brandon Lerena in the saddle.  

“He’s come a long way this time in,” Ryan said. “He did heaps wrong early but this time around after a nice spell, he’s much more settled and manageable. Brandon rated him good today. He’s no star but will win a couple more races.”

Damien Lane’s Red Cobra, the $101 outsider of the field, flashed home for second. 


Tim Clark made a successful return to Wyong at just his second meeting back after suffering an injury on Cup Day. 

Clark rode the David Pfieffer trained Beneficio ($8) to victory in the 1100m SHARKRACK – IPD – EMERALD LIGHTING BM64.

The Magnus mare was having only her second start for the stable having previously raced in Victoria and brought up her second career win. 

“It’s good to be back and in the winner’s stall,” Clark said. “This mare filled me with confidence in the run that she’d be in the finish a long way out. She fought it out really well.”

Kristen Buchanan’s Big Happiness could be in for a good preparation after finishing third, just a length behind the winner. 


A long shot winner in the last, the 1350m KLEIN TOOLS – EVOLT – PRYSMIAN – BRILLIANT MIDWAY BM64 with Brett Lazzarini’s Mancconi ($37) upsetting the more favoured riders with Brock Ryan in the saddle. 

There were some nervous moments for Lazzarini after a truck accident on the freeway delayed their arrival. 

“I didn’t think we were going to get here at one stage, but we made it. He’s no world beater this horse but every time you put him down, he does his best. My wife owns 80% so it keeps her happy, “he laughed. 



Like his famous namesake the John O’Shea trained Benaud has written himself into the record books claiming the 2023 Listed Carlton Wyong Gold Cup. 

And it was rising star Dylan Gibbons who rode the five-year-old to victory giving the son of Reliable Man his first black type win. 

The Cup was marred by a dramatic mid-race fall around the 800m, with front runner The Mediterranean faltering causing a ricochet effect, which resulted in three jockeys being dislodged and six runners pulled out of the race. 

Fortunately, riders Regan Bayliss, Tim Clark and Brett Prebble escaped serious injuries. 

Gibbons had settled Benaud mid field and was able to avoid the trouble caused by the fall, storming down the outside in the straight to claim victory from fellow grey and race favorite Bois D’Argent. 

The win was the result of a well thought out plan by O’Shea, who took Benaud to Wyong for a 2100m Class 1 in July, hoping for a confidence boosting win and run on the track.

The plan worked with the gelding posting a six-length victory, before returning to Wyong after a failed run in the Grafton Cup and freshen up, to claim the club’s biggest prize.

“He’s been going good and had a lovely draw to get an economical run in the race. He was well weighted, and we thought it was a great opportunity for him” 

While the win was only the third for Benaud, he has had three previous Group placings to his name, including a second to Hitotsu in the G1 ATC Australian Derby. 

It’s O’Shea’s second Wyong Cup win in as many years after claiming victory in 2021 with another grey Berdibek.

The Annabel Neasham pair Bois D’Argent ($4.60fav) and Spirit Ridge ($13) filled the minor placings.


O’Shea’s victory in the Cup atoned for a second in the day’s other feature the Mona Lisa, where he trained runner-up Sanstoc.

The Mona Lisa can turn up a long shot and this year was no exception with Peter and Paul Snowden’s Mirra View taking out the $200k Listed race returning $26. 

The More Than Ready five-year-old was given the perfect ride by Chad Schofield, who came from midfield with a sustained run in the straight to grab victory. 

In a huge result for the Snowden’s the well supported Wollombi finished third, behind Sanstoc ($21), who protested unsuccessfully against the winner. 

A delighted Peter Snowden described Mirra View as a “very genuine, honest filly.”

“This is the level she’s been looking for and it’s great to see her get black type to her name. She’s been the victim of too good a barrier in the past but today it worked out beautifully from the gate and they went quick enough for her to get back and go through her revs.

“Chad got her out in plenty of time and it was good to see her get the job done. The owners are great supporters of the stable and I’m very happy for them.”  

Snowden said he was also thrilled with the performance of the well supported Wollombi ($4.40), who despite being caught wide throughout finished third.


 It was an effortless win by the Godolphin trained Balkans ($2.70) to take out the inaugural running of the $60,000 Super Maiden over 1200m.

Zac Lloyd box seated on the Lonhro colt before angling him to the outside in the final stages steering him to an easy victory.

It was a pickup ride for Lloyd, replacing the injured McDonald.  

Darren Beadman said they had expected the three-year-old colt to race well. 

“He’s a lovely horse, a big scoping horse and we expected him to get around Wyong pretty well. He had no luck at Canterbury on debut, but it taught him to race and laid a nice foundation for this race.”


Clarry Conners Peace Officer ($3.50) was a dominant winner of the 1300m Da Vinci 3&4YO BM64, but all eyes were on champion jockey James McDonald who fell at the start. 

Godolphin’s $1.70 favorite Razors appeared to blunder after jumping, sending McDonald into the turf, the champion jockey suffering a foot injury and being stood down for the rest of the meeting. 

Kris Lees looked to have another race in the bag when Memoria ($5) kicked in the straight, but Nash Rawiller had other ideas, coming from behind to run down the winner and post an easy win on the line. 

The four-year-old is putting together a strong resume with two wins and three placings from his nine starts. 


Lees had started the day well with a quinella in the first, Blackcomb ($4.20) overhauling stable mate and $3 favorite Oakfield Prince on the line in the 1600m BM64.

The five-year-old daughter of Vancouver, having her first start for the stable, came from behind in the straight in a well-timed ride by Dylan Gibbons, the first leg of a winning double.


It was no surprise for trainer Brett Lazzarini when his gelding Bonus Tempus beat some of the more favored runners in the 1350m 4YO & Up Maiden.

The Impending four-year-old appreciated a step up in distance and Lazzarini believes there’s more improvement to come. 

“He still wants more ground, but I thought he could be there when the whips were cracking today,” he said. 


Brad Widdup was thrilled with the win of his consistent mare Jedibeel ($2.80fav) who was given a super, rails run by Jean Van Overmeire to win the 1100m Class 1.  

Widdup said Van Overmeire had defied his one instruction. 

“I told him not to go to the fence and he did,” Widdup laughed. “It worked out that way and he had too, but he got the job done. She’s still learning. 

“She’s run against a couple smart horses where she’s done a lot wrong. Today she did a lot right and it was a terrific effort.”

Runner up The King ($4) will have plenty of improvement to come, while Los Padres ($16) put in an eye-catching run for third. 


Keagan Latham brought up a double in the last riding Michael Freedman’s $2.10 favorite Flying Destiny to victory. 

Darby Racing’s Flying Artie four-year-old made it back-to-back wins after a last start victory at Hawkesbury. 


A third placing to Tyler Schiller saw him draw equal with Adam Hyeronimus to tie for the Nathan Berry Shield. Tommy Berry and his family were on track to present the prestigious shield.



It surely had to be an obvious tip!

How fitting that today’s feature race on our opening day of the Cup carnival should be won by a local – and on Ladies’ Day to boot!

Denim Wynen landed the Johnnie Roberts Memorial, named after the popular Wyong trainer who passed away in May 2020 after battling cancer, with her underrated mare Obvious Step ($6.50).

Ridden by Ashley Morgan, who scored on Newcastle sprinter Hard To Say in the Doomben opener yesterday, the six-year-old mare overcame a slow getaway and a troublesome run in the straight to prevail in a tight finish to the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1350m).

Wynen has now won three races with Obvious Step, who began her career in Sydney and also was a thrice winner for her original trainer David Payne.

She dually accepted with Obvious Step, and pulled the right rein in withdrawing her from the Magic Millions Racing Women Benchmark 68 Handicap (1600m) against her own sex to stay at the shorter distance.

An overweight Morgan forfeited his two other bookings at the meeting, and was fined $100 by Racing NSW stewards.

Jockey Adam Hyeronimus made the most of a late pick-up mount to take the riding honours with a treble.

Hyeronimus won the first two races on Solar System and Global before replacing an overweight Aaron Bullock on local mare Oakfield Redgum in the sixth race, and was rewarded with the easiest of his three successes.

Bullock had four mounts at the meeting, and did not ride. Stewards will interview him about being overweight at a date to be fixed.


There was also a nice reward for Wyong trainer Damien Lane, who celebrated his birthday by winning with Oakfield Redgum.

Hyeronimus had Oakfield Redgum away smartly, and she never gave him – nor her backers – the slightest cause for concern, romping away in the straight to score by more than five lengths.

A plunge on debutante Countyourblessings went astray in the opening event, The Agency 3YO Maiden Plate (1200m).

Backed from odds against to start a dominant $1.80 favorite, the I Am Invincible filly, a $250,000 Magic Millions yearling buy at the Gold Coast last year, couldn’t overhaul another MM purchase SOLAR SYSTEM ($4.60), who cost more at $530,000.

The winner, a member of the Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott team, quickly gathered pace after jumping, took up the running on the rails and gave plenty to maintain a good break in the straight all the way to the post.

Countyourblessings was inclined to veer to the centre of the track over the last 100m, and never looked likely to reach the winner, but no doubt will take improvement from her first start.

Winning rider Adam Hyeronimus considers SOLAR SYSTEM is trending in the right direction after the Deep Field gelding had finished third at Wyong on August 3 when making his debut.

“He has improved every time he has been to the trials and races, and was good today,” Hyeronimus said.

Yarraville ($41), another making her debut, though beaten clearly, finished well to grab third placing, just ahead of Kristen Buchanan’s Team America ($14).

Sydney trainer Joe Pride was both delighted and relieved to see GLOBAL EMPIRE ($1.95 favorite) shed his maiden status in the Care 2 The Max 4YO&Up Maiden Handicap (1100m).

“He has been a bit frustrating, but has been slow maturing,” Pride said.

“That’s not to say he won’t get to where we hope he will, and it was good to see him do that today.”

Jockey Adam Hyeronimus, who clinched a double in the open two races, said “it was a good strong win”.

“He travelled nice and strong, and stretched out nicely when I asked him to go after straightening.”

Having his seventh start (he had been placed four times), GLOBAL EMPIRE didn’t have things his own way, being pressured by both Rinzai (4th) and KongKong Harmony (last) up front.

He shook them off making the home turn, and was never threatened thereafter in defeating Let’s Try ($6.50) by two and a half lengths, with a further one and a half lengths to third placegetter, Louise Munce’s Ranhita ($18).

GLOBAL EMPIRE trialled six times, starting early last year, before making his debut when placed later that year at Hawkesbury in October over 1000m behind the talented and subsequent Listed winner Red Card.


THE third leader in a row won when Sara Ryan struck a blow for Wyong trainers with lightly-raced FRANK EXPRESS ($15).

Sydney’s champion apprentice Zac Lloyd, at his first ride returning from a suspension, bounced straight back to the winning list, leading throughout in the Iris Foundation Benchmark 68 Handicap (2100m).

A four-year-old son of European champion Frankel, FRANK EXPRESS made it two victories on end, following a 1600m breakthrough in a Newcastle Midway Maiden on August 10.

“I always thought he would get a middle distance,” Ryan said afterwards.

“Zac rode him a treat, getting away with cheap sectionals around the back.”

FRANK EXPRESS was having only his fifth start and beat a game Mr Bond ($5), who lost his off fore plate in running and showed a return to form.

Hat-trick seeker Vincenzo ($3.60), who fluffed the start by jumping in the air when the gates opened, and cost himself any chance of achieving that.

Disappointment of the race was another recent Newcastle winner Bulbarrow ($3.10 favorite). He was also chasing a hat-trick, but was under pressure on the home turn and dropped out to finish last of the eight runners.

A subsequent veterinary examination did not reveal any abnormalities.

JOCKEY Jean Van Overmeire continued his brilliant start to the new season, clinching his 16th winner on Hawkesbury mare SACRED GIRL ($11) in the Robson Civil Projects Provincial Maiden Plate (1600m).

Such has been his form that he shares the lead in the NSW premiership with Sydney’s champion jockey James McDonald.

Van Overmeire gave the Sacred Falls mare, a $65,000 New Zealand buy two years ago, a perfect run behind fellow Hawkesbury representative Mr Papera, a well-backed $2.35 favorite, and finished best to beat him narrowly.

He had the mare away quickly at the jump and then took a trail behind Mr Papera, who had worked across from his outside barrier to take up the running, but lost his near fore plate during the race. 

Tracey Bartley’s Stanczyk ($2.50) was given every chance and wound up a close third.

SACRED GIRL had five trials without racing for a leading Sydney stable, and has now raced four times since being transferred to leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup.

“I’m really happy she won for Tricolours Racing and a large group of owners,” Widdup said.

“She has shown enough ability to win a race, but has been a bit laidback in her races.

“I tried blinkers, but they didn’t work, so we put a nose roll on her today, and we were able to ride her more positively, and she did the job for us.”

Four-year-old mare KINGSTON CHARM ($4.40) has a real affinity with Wyong as her jockey Tyler Schiller pointed out after her win in the ODA Advisory Class 1 Handicap (1600m).

“She seems to like the track as both her wins have been here,” Schiller said.

“KINGSTON CHARM won her Maiden earlier in July when Reece Jones rode her.”

Schiller had the mount on the daughter of Exosphere for the first time at her last run when third in a Class 1 Handicap (1600m) at Hawkesbury on August 8.

“She isn’t a mare you can bustle, so I was happy to be patient on her and she travelled comfortably throughout,” he said.

“I thought she put them away pretty comfortably too.”

Once Schiller got a gap on KINGSTON CHARM in the straight, she dashed quickly and was too good for Golden Passport ($4) and roughie Muckabout ($51).

Forget the $2.90 favorite Rise To It’s defeat. He had no luck at all in the run, was widest on the home turn and kept battling right to the post to just miss third placing. He can soon make amends for hat defeat.

WYONG trainer Damien Lane celebrated a birthday with a winner – and there was never any doubt about it.

He was confident beforehand OAKFIELD REDGUM ($2.60 favorite) could do the job in the Magic Millions Racing Women F&M Benchmark 68 Handicap (1600m, and didn’t have a moment’s worry.

With Aaron Bullock an absentee, Adam Hyeronimus was the replacement rider and rode the easiest of his three winners at the meeting.

Hyeronimus quickly had OAKFIELD REDGUM into stride and she travelled smoothly in front.

It was obvious on the home turn that the five-year-old daughter of Dundeel was going to be hard to run down.

She scored by more than five lengths from Lyrical Lady ($11), who ran on gamely, and Tornado Light ($31) was third.

OAKLFIELD REDGUM was Lane’s second winner of the season (All Too Sneaky was his first at Dubbo on August 13, and he has also had five minor placings).

“The map looked really good for her today,” he said. “She is better if she can find the front and get a couple of cheap sectionals, then roll along from the 500m.

“OAKFIELD REDGUM Is better ridden that way rather than sit and sprint, also likes soft ground.

“Whilst she hasn’t won out of turn, she has matured into a nice mare and seems to be putting it all together.”

Jockey Ashley Morgan has had a busy weekend – but well worth it.

He won the opening race at Doomben yesterday on Newcastle-trained Hard To Say, and landed the Johnnie Roberts Memorial Benchmark 64 Handicap (1350m) here on local OBVIOUS STEP ($6.50), who was slow to jump and didn’t have the clearest of passages either in the straight.

Morgan eventually got her around the heels of $2.90 favorite Rockabilly Rebel, and she drove hard to take the major prize.

In a close finish where any of several horses could have won in the closing stages, OBVIOUS STEP got there in time to edge out Rockabilly Rebel and $41 roughie She’s Independent, who made the running.

Well-backed Lady Shenanigans ($4.40) was a close fourth.


Wyong trainer Denim Wynen has done a terrific job with OBVIOUS STEP since taking over her preparation last year.

She has won three races with the daughter of Sidestep, who has also been placed on seven occasions in her care.

WRITTEN Tycoon three-year-old QUEEN OF THE MILE made it two wins from three starts since joining the Michael Freedman stable, and could not have been more impressive in doing so.

Ridden by Tom Sherry, QUEEN OF THE MILE ($4) was resuming, having also easily won the Gold Nugget 2YO Handicap (1100m) at Bathurst in April.

She loomed up menacingly to tackle front-runner Nonshalant ($7.50), and swept away to beat her convincingly.

The $26 outsider Proud Image was third, with Allan Kehoe’s $3.70 favorite One Kind fourth after appearing to have every chance.

A $180,000 Magic Millions yearling buy last year, Queen Of The Mile looks destined to make the grade in town.

Once You Were ($6.50) ran fifth, but had absolutely no luck in the straight, and is worth another chance next time out.



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.



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. 

Shaken & soobooco star at wyong

Shaken & soobooco star at wyong 39

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.



Denim Wynen kicked off the Central Coast Clubs NSW Race Day in the best possible way with a win for the locals. 

Wynen’s consistent filly Emphatic Bel broke through for a well-deserved victory in the 1100m 3YO Maiden, having finished second over the same distance and track at her previous start on June 1. 

The filly drifted in the betting to start at $8, with plenty of support for the minor placegetters Amberina & Magnatear ($2.20fav).

Serg Lisnyy gave Emphatic Bel the perfect ride going head-to-head with Amberina down the straight. He was able to lift her on the line earning plenty of praise from Wynen. 

“That’s the way to ride her and Serg did it really well,” she said. “I was very confident coming into today and felt she would race well.”


John Cooper was the second of the local brigade to taste success, with Anansi causing an upset in the 21000m Class 1 & Maiden returning upwards of $100.

Cooper purchased the son of American Pharoah for just $22,000 in July last year and he had only been placed once for his new owner in his 10 previous starts. 

But all was forgiven when the four-year-old put his best foot forward on his home track, collecting prizemoney of $21,000 for his efforts. 

Cooper said he had been confident when Jay Ford was able to get him to the outside in the final stages. 

“He’s pretty dour and if he gets held up, he loses his rhythm, and it all goes out the window. He got clear running today and got the job done.”

Anansi got the bob on the line over Kerry Parker’s short priced favourite Acceber, with Cooper admitting he had also backed the winner. 


It was finally pay day for Mr Kennedy, the Fastnet Rock gelding breaking through in the 1100m 4YO & Up Maiden. 

It had been a real journey for Richard Litt’s lightly raced six-year-old, who had an early preparation in Hong Kong before returning to Sydney. 

He had been placed on five occasions leading into the Wyong race where he was able to put them away courtesy of a well rated, front running ride by Josh Parr. 

Litt expects the $1.8m yearling will go on to win more races after taking confidence from the victory. 


A plan by David Pfieffer and Jay Ford came to fruition when well-bred Pierro gelding Lysander broke through in the 1350m Maiden. The pair wanted to roll forward to overcome a wide barrier and Ford was able to do just that and gain a soft lead which he maintained throughout. 

Pfieffer expects Lysander, a $180,000 Magic Millions yearling raced by Waratah Thoroughbreds, to get over more ground. 


He was equally excited about the prospects of his smart Capitalist filly Angel Fund who brought up her second win from just three starts in the 1100m Class 1 with Jason Collett in the saddle. 

The Capitalist filly was coming off a last start victory at Gosford when resuming over 1000m on March 25. 

Pfieffer plans to keep Angel Fund over the shorter distances this time in and see where she takes then in following preparations. 


Bokuden didn’t waste any time creating an impression for his new stable, the Deep Impact colt taking out the 1350m BM64 for Peter and Paul Snowden ridden by Sam Clipperton. 

A Deep Impact colt, Bokuden joined the Snowden stable after spending his first preparation in Queensland where he was placed once on the Sunshine Coast from his three starts.

He has trialled twice for the Snowden’s before taking out a 1200m Maiden at Kembla over 1200m on May 23, making it back-to-back wins at Wyong.

Stable representative Colm McCullough said they had always had a good opinion of the colt, who they expected to get out in distance.  Kristen Buchanan’s Big Happiness was the runner-up and looks primed for a win.


It was an excited Molly Bourke returned to scale in the 1600m BM64 after bringing up her first win for new boss John O’Shea. 

Bourke, who still claims 3kg on the Provincial circuit, rode Irish import Awesome Wonder to her third career win from 14 starts. 

Bourke was able to avoid the significant interference in the final stages by taking the four-year-old to the outside to win by almost a length. 

“I’m very grateful for the opportunities the stable has given me,” Bourke said, “and so good to get a winner.”


Another apprentice Jett Stanley partnered Annabel Neasham’s Jamrock to victory in the 1600m Maiden. 

The Pierro gelding posted the most impressive win of the day, blitzing his opposition by nearly five lengths. 

Stewards adjourned an inquiry into the circumstances of a fall in the third race which saw Jeff Penza fall from Prize Tulip, suffering a broken collar bone.

Deanne Payna was suspended from June 26 to June 29 after pleading guilty to careless riding on Eve ‘N’ Ruby in the last, while fellow rider Keagan Latham pleaded guilty to the same charge in the same race on his mount Duke Of Gordon and suspended from June 25 to June 30.

*Pics Steve Hart Photography*

Bullock steals the show

Bullock steals the show 48

The State’s leading jockey Aaron Bullock put on a master class at Wyong’s Winter Race Day combining with Mark Minervini to take out the 1350m BM64 on Star Impact and Fire And Ice in the 1100m BM68. 

The pair have become a formidable combination in recent months, with Bullock riding five winners and four placings for the Minervini stable from just 10 starters. 

His Wyong double took his tally for the season to 148, with James McDonald second on 110.

Minervini is also enjoying his best season in recent years with 21 winners to date, five of those in the past four days. 

He was thrilled with the Wyong double and full of praise for Bullock. 

“You always go to these meetings with plenty of hope, but it doesn’t often happen, so to train a double was great. We are still pinching ourselves to be honest,” he said. 

“It’s great to have Aaron on board. He’s riding with so much confidence at the moment and is very focused. He rode my first winner for me when we came over from Adelaide.

“I’ve given him a few rides recently and we’ve just gelled together, so I hope it keeps going.

“It’s taken us a while to get established since moving to Newcastle. It’s a big job and if I’d realised how long I would have taken I probably wouldn’t have done it. We’re over the moon now and hopefully the future is only going to get better.”

Young guns Tyler Schiller, Dylan Gibbons and Jett Stanley weren’t to be denied, assisting their respective mounts to victory. 

Bullock steals the show 49

Comeback jockey Adam Hyeronimus couldn’t hide his delight, returning to scale after booting home Notabadone for Jim and Greg Lee. 

Hyeronimus was sidelined for two years and four months by stewards for betting offences, returned to the saddle on May 26 and has already ridden a winner. He was having his first ride back at Wyong and his only ride for the day. 

Hyeronimus, was keen to partner Notabadone, the $2.10 favourite narrowly beaten at his last start at Nowra on May 21. 

The Group 1 winning jockey, who spent much of his time while suspended working as a tree lopper, said he had expected the slower tempo in the 1350m 4YO & Up Maiden would suit Notabadone.

Bullock steals the show 50

Gibbons combined with his boss Kris Lees to take out the 1100m Provincial Maiden with three-year-old Orlabent. The short-priced favourite didn’t disappoint winning by more than two lengths and looks headed for bigger things. The victory took Gibbons to 90.5 in the Apprentice’s Premiership, giving him a narrow 1.5 lead over Tyler Schiller.

Bullock steals the show 51

A patient ride by Schiller in the 1600m Maiden resulted in a significant form reversal by Doutelle. Matthew Smith’s Olympic Glory three-year-old was beaten more than 10 lengths at his last start at Kembla but was able to turn that around, courtesy of Schiller, in the 1600m Maiden. 

Bullock steals the show 52

Stanley continued a great run since moving north riding the Maher Eustace trained Windshadow home in the 1350m CG&E BM64. After being purchased as a $900,00 Magic Millions yearling, the four-year-old was on sold to the current owner Maree Anderson for just $22,500, his Wyong win taking his prizemoney to date to almost $70,000. 

Bullock steals the show 53

John Thompson had planned to send his well-bred filly California Grass north for the Group 1 Queensland Oaks but she came up as fourth emergency he opted for the Wyong race. 

And she didn’t disappoint, putting more than four lengths on her rivals in the 2100m Class 1 and Maiden, with Keagan Latham in the saddle. The Al Maher three-year-old was coming off a last start Newcastle win over 2300m and looks destined to go on to bigger things. 

Bullock steals the show 54

Well-bred Written Tycoon colt Mafia will likely head back to Metropolitan grade on the strength of his debut win in the 1000m Maiden. Snowden’s $850,000 colt was resuming from a spell and the win never looked in doubt. Stable representative Colm McCullagh said Mafia had always shown plenty of ability but had taken plenty of time to mature. Chad Schofield was the winning rider. 

*Pics Steve Hart Photographics*