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There was plenty of expectation about Joe Pride’s Think About It and Waller’s debutant Narito leading into the meeting, and they didn’t disappoint, both winning in impressive style. 

Mark Newnham and Chris Waller shared the trainer’s honours with doubles, while Brenton Avdulla was the leading rider, also with a double.

There was plenty of praise for the track, with an upgrade midway through the afternoon. 

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TIM CLARK AND PIEMPURR

A few nervous moments for favourite backers in the 2100m WYONG TRAINERS’ PREMIERSHIP WINNER KIM WAUGH MAIDEN, with $1.80fav Piempurr holding on to win by a narrow margin. 

The Mark Newnham trained daughter of Pierro, earned strong support on the back of her consistent provincial form, her latest outing a fourth at Kembla over 2000m in stronger company. 

Tim Clark was happy to settle the four-year-old just off the lead in the early stages before taking her to the front around the 1100m mark. 

She fought on in the straight under vigorous riding by Clark and was able to hold out the late challengers to win by a neck. 

Clark said he didn’t believe Piempurr was at her best, given a ‘quickish” back up from Kembla but it was a great job for her to still get the win. 

Local galloper Dragon Storm ($26) trained by Allan Kehoe finished strongly in 2nd after not much luck in the straight, while Selvam ($26) from the Jeremy Sylvester yard was doing his best work on the line.

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I AM GERONIMO AND BRENTON AVDULLA

It was a case of third time lucky for the Waller trained I Am Geronimo who broke through for his first win at his third attempt on the Wyong track. 

The I Am Invincible gelding started $1.45 favourite and didn’t disappoint beating his stablemate Nano Star ($6) by a length. 

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Brenton Avdulla after I Am Geronimo missed the start in 1350m 2022 TRAINERS’ PREMIERSHIP WINNERS GAI WATERHOUSE & ADRIAN BOTT MAIDEN.

“That wasn’t the plan,” Avdulla said. “He hasn’t done that the two previous times I’ve ridden him, but luckily it was a race that lacked pressure and I was able to keep him wide and keep him going. There is some upside to him and if he can learn to relax it will help.”

Nano Star fought on well in the straight and it was a much-improved run by Rodney Bailey’s Single Babe ($41) to finish third. 

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Joe Pride is excited about the prospects of his four-year-old Think About It who brought up his second win from start two in the 1350m 2022 WYONG JOCKEYS’ PREMIERSHIP WINNER JASON COLLETT CLASS 1.

The $70k yearling looks to have a bright future, with both Pride and winning rider Rory Hutchings believing there is plenty of improvement to come. 

Think About It looked good scoring on debut at Kembla on July 30, with both placegetters’ subsequent winners. 

“He’s a pretty smart horse and he’s shown that in his two starts now,” Pride said. “He’s nowhere near the finished article. When he has a spell and puts on some weight he’ll further improve. Rory is a fantastic jockey, but he won’t get an easier ride than that.”

In an effortless win, Think About It ($1.40) beat the Neasham trained Flying Witness ($4.40) by a length and a half, with Warren Ganderton’s Poetic Miss ($16) third.

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BRYNNER AND KATHY O’HARA

An exciting finish to the 1600m 2022 LEADING APPRENTICE JOCKEY REECE JONES AND TOM SHERRYCLASS 1 with Brynner ($4.80) getting the bob on the line. 

The son of Contributor wound up in the final stages of the straight to run down the Joe Burges trained Mr Eighty Eight ($9.50) on the line. 

Trained by Jason Coyle and ridden by Kathy O’Hara, Brynner brought up his second win at start 12. 

O’Hara said the four-year-old would improve off the run. 

“He’s a progressive sort of a horse who is going through his grades nicely. He still doesn’t know how to put them away but hopefully next preparation.”

The Replicant ($2.80) from the Pride stable, finished third, and isn’t far off another win, while the $2.50 race favourite Believe So, trained by Anthony Cummings, had difficulty getting clear running in the straight and could be the one to follow. 

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NARITO WITH CONNECTIONS AND SPONSORS

Another exciting prospect unveiled in the 1100m LAURAINE BUCHANAN BEST MUM EVER CG&E MAIDEN PLATE with the Waller trained Narito. 

There was plenty of hype surrounding the Maurice four-year-old, who was having his first race start, coming off a Rosehill barrier trial in late July. 

He was sent out $2.35 favourite and the win never looked in doubt courtesy of a great James McDonald ride. 

He settled the four-year-old just off the speed, bringing him to the lead in the straight where he was able to run down the front-runner to score by two lengths. 

“He’s a really nice horse,” McDonald said. “He’s very progressive and would have learned plenty from today. He’s got plenty of untapped ability and they’ve taken their time with him. He’s got a lot of pace and I’d love to see him over more ground.”

Mark Minnervini’s Soobooco ($11), put in another honest run to finish second, while the Pride trained Sacred Field ($3.60) was third, after being slow to begin. 

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CRYSTALENE AND TOM SHERRY

A tough win by Crystalene ($4.40) in the 1100m FAREWELL WRC RACING & OPERATIONS MANAGER DEAN GROGAN F&M MAIDEN brought up a double for the Mark Newnham stable. 

The Snitzel filly was on debut and impressed with a strong win, toughing it out in the straight to get the bob on her rivals in an exciting three-way finish. 

She impressed jockey Tom Sherry, who believes there are more wins to come. 

“She’s got a brilliant attitude and great temperament. There is plenty of improvement left in her and this win will stand her in good stead going forward,” he said. 

Raced by relative newcomers Iron, Crystalene was a $475,000 yearling. 

She beat the Cummings trained Perpignan ($4.60), who isn’t far off a win, with Edna ($9.50) trained by Craig Carmody, third after pulling in the early stages. 

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Nathan Doyle’s honest mare Bullinachinashop made the step up to provincial grade in great style, taking out the CARLTON WYONG GOLD CUP FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2 CONDITIONAL BENCHMARK 68 over 1100m. 

The victory was the second consecutive win for the daughter of Bull Point, and her fourth career victory from just 10 starts. 

There was some late support for Bullinachinashop, who started at $10. 

Dylan Gibbons gave the four-year-old the perfect ride, sitting just off the leader, before hitting the front midway down the straight and pulling away to win by almost a length. 

Runner-up, Brad Widdup’s Unyielding Spirit ($11) fought on well, with Moralist ($4.20) trained by Matthew Smith, third. 

“She’s a little ripper,” Gibbons said after the race. “She’s as tough as they come, and she really dug deep today. She’s got that killer desire and they keep raising the bar and she responds.”

The $2.80 favourite Belladeel missed the start and failed to run on. 

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DIJON AND BRENTON AVDULLA

Dijon appreciated the drop back in distance to bring up a dominant win in the 1000m WYONG’S NEXT RACE DAY SUNDAY AUGUST 28 CLASS 1.

The Headwater gelding had too much speed on his rivals, the win bringing up a double for Brenton Avdulla. 

He took luck out the of the equation leading throughout, pulling away in the final stages to win by a length. 

Co trainer Gerald Ryan said the four-year-old was more genuine since he was gelded. 

“He’s very sharp, not top class but very fast and if we keep placing him right, we’ll win more races. I think he’s up to a midweek in town,” he said.

Dijon ($4.40) beat Michael Freedman’s $3.50 favourite Insurrection, who appeared to have every chance, with Fire And Ice ($3.70) from the Minervini stable, third. 

PREMIERSHIPS DECIDED IN TIGHT TUSSLE

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DEAD-HEATS abounded today – but not in races!

Jason Collett and Tim Clark fought out the Jockeys’ Premiership at the final meeting of the season, with Collett claiming the title by one, with 12 wins.

Collett fired the first salvo by winning the opening race for Chris Waller to gain a three-win lead, but Clark pegged him back winning both the fourth and seventh races for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

Tom Sherry (now a senior rider) and Reece Jones could not be split either in the apprentices’ premiership, and were also declared joint winners.

The Waterhouse/Bott stable secured another Wyong Trainer’s Premiership with their double.

On the racing front, the meeting produced several promising horses which can be followed with confidence.

Frankel three-year-old Phosphene made a winning debut in the opening race, and Savabeel two-year-old Major Beel was also impressive in taking the fourth at only his second appearance.

Hawkesbury mare Yes You Think hasn’t had a lot of racing either and her victory from an awkward draw and coming from well back in the fifth was a definite sign of better things ahead.

RACE 1: THE BELLBIRDS & CENTRAL COAST VOLUNTEER RESCUE ASSOCIATION 3YO MAIDEN PLATE, 1350m

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PHOSPHENE

SYDNEY supremo Chris Waller struck early – but it wasn’t with the horse most punters wanted. I Am Geronimo ($3 favorite) was well backed and took over near the 700m after beginning well, but was a sitting shot in the straight and stablemate PHOSPHENE ($7.50) swept down the outside to snatch victory from Nullify ($3.80) and Tracey Bartley’s Dresden ($14). I Am Geronimo battled on to finish fourth. Frankel three-year-old PHOSPHENE was making his debut after finishing last of nine runners in a 740m trial on the Warwick Farm synthetic track on July 6. He is the first foal of the American-bred mare Posing, and looks to have a bright future, especially as he was slow to begin today and was still able to win. Stewards fined apprentice Pat Scorse $300 for failing to claim down to his minimum weight, and replaced him with fellow apprentice Reece Jones.

RACE 2: WE CARE CONNECT & CENTRAL COAST KIDS IN NEED 4YO&UP MAIDEN HCP, 1350m

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DANZETTE

DUAL licence holder Blake Fitzpatrick ended the season on a winning note when DANZETTE ($5.50) came of age. The well-known harness racing trainer-driver produced the former Sydney mare first-up at start no. 21 with only a recent 785m trial at Hawkesbury to ready her. Not unlike the first race performance of the winner, apprentice Jackson Searle circled the field from near last at the 600m and brought her with a well-timed run to overhaul Loniesha ($3.30), who was slowly away and had eased dramatically from an opening quote but still started favorite. Limpida ($6) gave plenty of cheek and battled on gamely to be beaten less than a length and suffered interference near the line. An $80,000 Melbourne yearling purchase, DANZETTE had been placed on seven occasions, so a breakthrough was indeed overdue. Searle’s win was soured when stewards charged him with careless riding near the winning post, taking the runner-up in onto the third horse, which had to be checked. Searle’s suspension begins on August 7, and he can return a week later.

RACE 3: ACCOLADE WINES & NESTLE PROFESSIONAL MAIDEN HCP, 1600m

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PACIFIC WARRIOR

FAVORITE punters finally got on the board when PACIFIC WARRIOR (backed from odds against into $1.95) got home, but there wasn’t much in it. Josh Parr always had the American Pharoah three-year-old in touch after beginning awkwardly, and he gamely beat Riccos ($6) and Walk Up Start ($16). A $175,000 buy at Inglis’ 2020 Australian Easter yearling sale, PACIFIC WARRIOR was having his fifth start for trainer Anthony Cummings and appreciated getting up over a longer distance. Nosey Parker ($4) gave away too much start and finished on gamely into fourth placing.  Only a two-year-old, he is open to further improvement.

RACE 4: BISHOP COLLINS & AUSTBROKERS 2YO MAIDEN HCP, 1300m

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MAJOR BEEL

AS with the opening winner, this youngster looks headed for better wins. MAJOR BEEL ($7) was the outsider of the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott pair as stablemate Sightseer ran a $2.10 favorite and had to be content with third placing. MAJOR BEEL, a rising three-year-old by Savabeel, was strong through the line and is going to be even harder to toss as his distances are increased. He raced keenly in the early and middle stages and was still too good for his rivals. A $260,000 Magic Millions yearling purchase, he can win again – and runner-up Manzoice ($21) also hit the line with purpose and is another to be followed. He was slow to begin on debut.

RACE 5: DAILY PRESS & CARLTON & UNITED BREWERIES CLASS 1 HCP, 1200m

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YES YOU THINK

HAWKESBURY trainer Blake Ryan has a good opinion of YES YOU THINK ($15), who was having only her second start for him after previously being prepared at Gosford by Angela Davies, who won a Taree Maiden with her in February. This daughter of international star So You Think drew awkwardly, but rider Regan Bayliss allowed her time to settle and get cover, then circled the field from the 600m to nab $3 favorite Siyata in the shadows of the post. “She has plenty of upside and I really like her,” Ryan said. “I won’t be surprised if she wins a midweek race in town or even a Saturday Midway Handicap. “Her coat is still a bit patchy, so there is definitely further improvement in her.” YES YOU THINK was examined by the club vet behind the barrier when blood was noticed in her near side nostril, and cleared to start.

ACE 6: REGNIS REFRIGERATION & SONS & HARVEY NORMAN COMMERCIAL DIVISION BENCHMARK 64 HCP, 1350m

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BULLET WING

WYONG trainer Kristen Buchanan kicked up for the local side when she scored with $8 chance BULLET WING. The gelded son of Bull Point fronted up for only his fourth start, and was game in edging out $2.45 favorite Navajo Peak, who would have clinched the jockeys’ premiership for Tim Clark had he been successful. Fourth placegetter Real Key set up a decent tempo, but the winner sat third and cruised up with intent on the home turn. He didn’t shirk his task in the straight as the favorite made a late challenge. Tick Tock Boom was a late withdrawal on veterinary advice, and trainer Annabel Neasham will have to produce a vet clearance before he can trial or race again.

RACE 7: WYONG ROOS FOUNDATION CONDITIONAL BENCHMARK 68 HCP, 1600m

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STAR SPARKS

CLARK brought up a double, falling just one short in the Jockey’s Premiership, when STAR SPARKS ($4.60) humped 61kg to defeat locals Buba ($2.90 favorite) and $21 outsider Sian. The Medaglia D’Oro four-year-old is building a neat record; this being his fourth win at his seventh start. He made the running and bounced back from a Sandown failure on heavy ground on June 15. Buba tried hard in the last 200m but couldn’t quite peg back the winner, whilst Sian did an excellent job to hang on as he did after doing plenty of work racing outside the leader and eventual winner.

RACE 8: COCA COLA EUROPACIFIC PARTNERS & ARCADE TRADER BENCHMARK 64 HCP, 1100m

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EUPHRATES DREAM

Another case of déjà vu where the longer-priced of the stable pair won. Emergency EUPHRATES DREAM ($17) nudged Belladeel ($10) in a tense finish, whereas stablemate Lake Kistoria ($6.50) beat only two home. Ironically, Willie Pike had partnered the winner at her previous start when runner-up at Hawkesbury on June 30, but this time rode Lake Kistoria. Pike told stewards his mount travelled comfortably in the early and middle stages, but didn’t respond when placed under pressure passing the 300m. However, he also considered she would benefit from today’s outing, which was her first in 12 months. Stewards will follow up with trainer Matthew Smith on the mare’s condition in the coming days. Dijon was solidly supported to start $3.20 favorite and ran another honest race to finish third after getting a break on straightening. He has now been placed at all three runs this preparation.

LEEMON BANKING ON CHANGE OF LUCK

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EXPERIENCED Sydney trainer Ron Leemon is banking on a recent gear change bringing him a change of luck at Wyong tomorrow.

A Group 1 winner with Manawanui in the $1m Golden Rose at Rosehill Gardens in 2011, Leemon has dominant favoriteLoniesha lining up in the We Care Connect & Central Coast Kids In Need 4YO&Up Maiden Handicap (1350m) as he bids to end the season on a winning note.

“I’ve only ever had a small team, but nothing has gone right of late,” Leemon said this morning.

“I have been dogged with injuries such as sesamoid and tendon problems to a number of horses who had ability.

“It’s been very frustrating and even with this mare Loniesha, it’s been difficult to find the right race for her.

“She resented a tongue tie and I found an old tongue control bit in my gear which is very fine, and it seems to suit her.

“Loniesha ran a nice race (third at Hawkesbury in a 1300m Maiden against her own sex on July 17 at $51) when she raced in it for the first time, and hopefully it will work well again tomorrow.”

Apprentice Zac Lloyd partnered Loniesha at Hawkesbury and his 1.5kg claim brings the mare in with 57.5kg – 1kg below the limit.

A rising five-year-old daughter of former champion Lonhro, Loniesha fetched $150,000 when offered at the 2019 Inglis Premier yearling sale in Melbourne.

But after three country placings without a win from nine starts, she was put on the market and Leemon and long-standing client Phil Gibb purchased her for $9500 online last December.

“Phil wanted to buy a Lonhro mare, and we were able to buy Loniesha through the Inglis digital sale,” Leemon explained.

“I was thinking about taking her to the Forbes Cup Showcase meeting on Sunday until I noticed this 1350m Maiden at Wyong.

“It would be nice to get a win with her, and sell her on in the near future as she will make a lovely broodmare. Loniesha is well bred and has a magnificent nature.”

Leemon also starts first emergency, $26 chance Miss Anticipation (Lloyd), if she secures a run in the Daily Press & Carlton & United Breweries Class 1 Handicap (1200m), and has opted to put blinkers on her.

The Dream Ahead mare was his last winner, at Nowra on January 10 last year, when she bolted in with an 1100m Maiden Plate against her own sex.

Jason Collett and Tommy Berry lock horns at tomorrow’s final meeting of the 2021-22 racing year to decide the jockeys’ premiership winner.

Collett’s victory on Prefect Match at the last Wyong meeting on July 19 lifted him to 11 wins for the season; one ahead of Berry and Tim Clark.

Collett has six mounts tomorrow; three for Sydney supremo Chris Waller (Phosphene, Adorable Miss and Ring Ahoy), two for fellow Sydney trainer Jason Coyle (Dream Maiden and Reach For Gold) and the other for the Sydney stable of leading Melbourne trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace (Flower Moon).

Adorable Miss (a firming $2.20 favorite with TAB.com.au for the Accolade Wines & Nestle Professional Maiden Handicap, 1600m) is the best fancied.

The Pierro mare has been placed at two (both at Newcastle) of her last four starts.

Berry has four mounts; Sightseer for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Zeminnika for Peter and Paul Snowden, Tick Tock Boom for Annabel Neasham, and Ready’s Girl for local trainer Kristen Buchanan.

Sightseer ($3.70) is the most favoured of the foursome.

Newcastle’s talented apprentice Dylan Gibbons is on verge of completing an outstanding achievement by winning the provincial jockeys’ title.

He has ridden 47 winners on provincial tracks in 2021-22, six more than Collett.

Gibbons has five Wyong rides; Highland Cathedral ($6.50) and Diamond Hands ($9) for Bjorn Baker, Highly Ambitious ($6) for his boss Kris Lees, Freedom Square ($7.50) for Paul Messara, and Concocted ($6.50) for Nathan Doyle.

. The rail is out 4m from the 1350m to 1000m, and 1m for the remainder of the circuit. An improving “Heavy 8” rating was posted this morning for the 1350m to 1000m chute, but it is important to note the rest of the track is a “Soft 6”. Racing begins at 12.20pm.

SELECTIONS

Race 1 – 12.20pm: THE BELLBIRDS & CENTRAL COAST VOLUNTEER RESCUE ASSOCIATION 3YO MAIDEN PLATE, 1350m: 1 I AM GERONIMO, 2 Jumeirah Beach, 3 Phosphene, 4 Nullify.

Race 2 – 12.55pm: WE CARE CONNECT & CENTRAL COAST KIDS IN NEED 4YO&UP MAIDEN HCP, 1350m: 1 LONIESHA, 2 Company Line, 3 Danzette, 4 Limpida.

Race 3 – 1.30pm: ACCOLADE WINES & NESTLE PROFESSIONAL MAIDEN HCP, 1600m: 1 ADORABLE MISS, 2 Pacific Warrior, 3 Nosey Parker, 4 Riccos.

Race 4 – 2.15pm: BISHOP COLLINS & AUSTBROKERS 2YO MAIDEN HCP, 1300m: 1 SIGHTSEER, 2 Ring Ahoy, 3 Gotta Fly, 4 Highland Cathedral..

Race 5 – 2.50pm: DAILY PRESS & CARLTON & UNITED BREWERIES CLASS 1 HCP, 1200m: 1 SIYATA, 2 Golden Gate, 3 Zeminnika, 4 Highly Ambitious.

Race 6 – 3.25pm: REGNIS REFRIGERATION & SONS & HARVEY NORMAN COMMERCIAL DIVISION BENCHMARK 64 HCP, 1350m: 1 TICK TOCK BOOM, 2 Air Of Alsace, 3 Enjolras, 4 Real Key.

Race 7 – 4.05pm: WYONG ROOS FOUNDATION CONDITIONAL BENCHMARK 68 HCP, 1600m: 1 I WANT ONE, 2 Freedom Square, 3 Flower Moon, 4 Star Sparks.

Race 8 – 4.45pm: COCA COLA EUROPACIFIC PARTNERS & ARCADE TRADER BENCHMARK 64 HCP, 1100m: 1 LAKE KISTORIA, 2 Dijon, 3 Concocted, 4 Prince Invincible.

RYAN’S PREFECT MATCH A WINNER

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In a day of many highlights local trainer Sara Ryan had an afternoon she will never forget, saddling up her first winner, Prefect Match, just her 17th runner. 

Mark Newnham took out the training honours in a competitive day of racing, with Sneaky Paige and Roma Avenue taking out their respective races.

Mark Minervini’s Fire And Ice broke through in the 2YO Maiden and looks to have a bright future, while Annabel Neisham’s Regal Pom claimed his maiden in impressive style, winning by more than eight lengths. 

Check out all the highlights below.  

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ROCCAFORTE

A good training effort by Richard LItt saw Snitzel gelding Roccaforte victorious at his first attempt over the 2000m.

It was a month between runs for the three-year-old, but he fought on strongly in the straight to take out the HAPPY RETIREMENT JEFF ENGELBRECHT CLASS 1 & MAIDEN.

Brenton Avdulla was keen to be on pace from the outset and was able to cross and settle Roccaforte behind the leader from the outside gate. 

He sat just off the leaders throughout and was able to hold out the $2.20 favourite Queenmaker in the final stages to win by a half-length. 

It was the second victory for the winner from 12 starts, his latest outing a second over the 1800m at Hawkesbury, seeing him sent out as $2.50 second favourite at Wyong. 

There were excuses for Edward Cumming’s Queenmaker, who failed to settle in the early stages, with Willie Pike forced three wide in the back straight. 

The Wayne Wilkes trained King Kidau ($7) was third. 

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REGAL POM

A frustrating run of placings came to an impressive end for Annabel Neasham and connections of Regal Pom after the gelding blitzed his opposition in the ALLAN DENHAM RACING 3YO MAIDEN over 1600m.

The stable had always had a good opinion of Regal Pom, a $60,000 Magic Millions yearling by Press Statement.

But he had been unable to break through in his previous 11 starts, where he was placed on seven occasions. 

All that became a distant memory after stable apprentice Ellen Hennessey pinged the gates and dominated throughout to win by more than eight lengths. 

“He has had plenty of chances, but we were confident today was his day,” Hennessey said. 

“We thought the conditions would suit with the soft track, him being up to the mile and in peak condition. He’s a bit of a grinder and we thought being at Wyong we would get going early and it worked out.”

Edward Cumming’s $2.45 favourite Flyaway was runner-up and seemed to have every opportunity, while Stephen Farley’s Party Stop ($8) put in another honest performance to finish third. 

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ROMA AVENUE

Mark Newnham’s Roma Avenue justifies his $1.80 favouritism taking out the 1350m COOMBS FAMILY MAIDEN.

The Star Witness three-year-old earned strong support, after two third placings at Canterbury in his past two starts. 

Newnham had been confident leading into the race. 

“I think he’s at his right distance today. He handles the wet ground and has drawn inside. I’d be disappointed if he didn’t win.”

Tom Sherry positioned the winner just off the leader and eventual runner-up Waller’s I Am Geronimo ($19) in the early stages, before hitting the front in the straight. 

It was a race in two from the 600m, with Roma Avenue’s class showing out in the final stages, posted a length and a half win.

Inuwashi ($9), also from the Waller stable, was third, with the both the placegetters not far off a win. 

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VERZENAY

A confident ride by Jean Van Overmeire helped secure victory for Verzenay in the 1200m TAB.COM.AU PROV & CTRY MAIDEN.

Trainer Brad Widdup had been confident the All Too Hard filly, a $75,000 Magic Millions purchase, would put her best foot forward after a second at Newcastle last start. 

“She’s a very honest filly and has drawn well today. It looks like a nice race for her, and I think she gets her chance,” he said.

Van Overmeire angled the three-year-old off the fence from the 600m, taking her to the outside on straightening. 

Verzenay ($3) showed a great turn of foot to hit the front in the final stages and win by half a length, at her seventh career start. 

Martini Crusader ($26) trained by Stephen O’Halloran rattled home for second and will be one to follow, while there were no excuses for Blake Ryan’s $2.50 favourite Separatist, who finished third.

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RYAN’S PREFECT MATCH A WINNER 25
FIRE AND ICE

Mark Minervini looks to have a talented colt on his hands after Fire And Ice ($2.40fav) out classed his rivals to breakthrough for his first win. 

Hugh Bowman partnered the son of Hellbent in the 1000m CANADIAN CLUB 2YO MAIDEN, after riding him in two recent metropolitan trials. 

The win was never in doubt after Bowman settled him in front on the rails, pulling away in the final stages to put almost five lengths on his rivals. 

Fire And Ice had three starts in strong Sydney grade in his first preparation before spelling. 

Minervini has always had a good opinion of the colt and now plans to target the $1m Golden Rose at Rosehill in September.

“He’s an exciting prospect for the stable and we’ve paid up for the Golden Rose,” he said. “I haven’t raced a colt with this sort of ability and temperament for a long time.”

The Gary Portelli stable filled with the minor placings with Nonshalaant ($5) and Millybella ($6.50).

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SNEAKY PAIGE

Deep Field filly Sneaky Paige ($3.70) bounced back to form to bring up a double for Mark Newnham and Tyler Schiller.

The three-year-old filly had been disappointing at her last start, finishing ninth on the Kensington track over 1150m, but put that form behind her to bring up win number two in the WYONG RACE CLUB FUNCITON CENTRE CLASS 1 over 1100m.

Sherry took Sneaky Paige to lead from the start and was able to dictate terms in front, staving off the challenges in the final stages to win by a long neck. 

Newnham said there had been no apparent reason for the filly’s last start failure and her work since had been good. 

“We thought she would be able to put herself right up on the pace and being a Canterbury winner on wet ground wouldn’t hurt her chances,” he said. 

Runner-up Critical Time ($26) looks the one to follow, with the Freedman trained race favourite Allusionist ($2.90) third. 

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RYAN’S PREFECT MATCH A WINNER 27
SOVEREIGN EXPRESS

Jason Attard was full of praise for Sovereign Express after he made it back-to-back wins in the GREAT NORTHERN CLASS 1 over 1600m.

The Bullet Train four-year-old was coming off a Newcastle win over the 1400m on June 25 and Attard had been concerned he might be a bit fresh.

“I was worried, but he settled nicely coming to the turn,” he said. “He was off the bridle in the straight and is still learning to race but loomed up on the outside and was too good. 

“We weren’t sure he’d handle the track and it’s good that he’s tractable. It was a beaut win.”

Rory Hutchings had Sovereign Express on the rails and just off the pace, pulling to the outside in the straight and running down the leader in the final stages.

He was sent out $3.20 second favourite and beat the Anthony Cummings trained favourite Believe So ($2.40), with Beenvane ($4.40) from the Jason Coyle stable, third. 

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RYAN’S PREFECT MATCH A WINNER 28
PREFECT MATCH

A super finish to the program with local trainer Sara Ryan saddling up her first winner after Prefect Match took out the 1300m WYONG’S NEXT RACEDAY THURSDAY JULY 28 BM64.

Ryan has only been licenced for the past year and has had 17 starters after recently taking over as trainer for Domeland. 

Prefect Match was having his first start for the stable and was resuming after two trials. 

Wet track specialist Jason Collett came from near the rear of the field, storming down the outside to win by a length. 

It was the second win from seven starts for the progressive Brazen Beau gelding, a $400,000 Magic Millions yearling.

Prefect Match ($9.50) beat the Lees trained $2.60 favourite Terrameades, with Real Key ($7.50) from the Bateup stable, third. 

A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS

A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 29

The Prostate Cancer Foundation Of Australia silks were prominent on Clubs NSW Men’s Health Charity Race Day greeting the judge twice.

It was two local runners that carried the flag for the charity, with Kristen Buchanan’s impressive debutant Bullet Wing and Damien Lane’s Fielding (pictured above) winning their respective races. 

Jan Bowen’s progressive mare Running Bear was an eye-catching winner, along with the Waterhouse/Bott The Milkybar Kid.

Check out the full review below.

A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 30
ALLOWAY

The James Ponsonby trained Alloway opened the program with a dominant win in the THE ENTRANCE LEAGUES CLUB 4YO&UP CLASS 1 & MAIDEN, out staying his rivals over the 2000m. 

The $120,000 Magic Millions yearling, was having only his third start for the stable, having previously been trained in Victoria where he was placed second in the Listed Tasmanian Derby over 2200m.

He was coming off a third at Cowra and Ponsonby wasn’t surprised to see him improve over more ground. 

Winona Costin settled the Wandjina four-year-old just off the speed, before hitting the front in the straight and drawing away for a three-length victory. 

Ponsonby had expected a nice performance by Alloway and wasn’t disappointed. 

“I thought today’s run might have been a fraction short of his best, but knew he was going to get a good chance from the nice draw,” he said. 

“He’s a lovely horse to train.”

Alloway ($6.50) beat Karen Outrim’s Mr Luke ($10) who fought on in the straight, with Dunlee trained by Nikki Pollock ($41) third. 

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A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 31
BULLET WING

An impressive win by Kristen Buchanan’s Bullet Wing, taking out the 1350m MINGARA RECREATION CLUB MAIDEN on debut, giving the stable a winning start for new owners Trilogy. 

Buchanan made the right decision choosing the home track option, after scratching the three-year-old from a 1300m race at Scone on Tuesday. 

Koby Jennings was able to cross the field and lead from barrier nine, and despite the early effort Bullet Wing was able to hold out his rivals on the line to win by almost a length. 

“He’s a really lovely horse and it’s great to get the win today,” Buchanan said. 

“We’ve been patient with him and had to scratch him a couple of times due to wide barriers. He drew wide again today but we decided to send him around. Koby just let him roll to the front and dictate terms and he had plenty in the tank to finish it off.

“It’s exciting to have my first winner for Trilogy. I have numerous yearlings coming to me from them and this was our first runner today. It was also their first runner that wasn’t a tried horse, so it’s exciting all-round.”

Bullet Wing was coming off two nice trials at Randwick and Scone.

The Joe Pride trained $2.25 favourite The Replicant ran on fairly to finish second and could be looking for more ground, over Feirme Prince ($8) from the Matthew Dunn yard. 

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A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 32
POKERJACK

Pokerjack was sent out $1.80 favourite in the AINSWORTH LEISURE GROUP 4YO&UP MAIDEN (1100m) and didn’t disappoint with the win never in doubt. 

Apprentice Amy McLucas put in a well-rated ride to help secure victory for the four-year-old, who had been runner-up in three of his previous six starts.

Pokerjack, a four-year-old Casino Prince gelding, was coming off a second at Hawkesbury on May 22 over the 1000m.

The rise in distance and firm track were in his favour and McLucas sat just outside the leader before drawing away close to the line to win by half a length.

Gary Moore’s Harapan ($5.50) hit the line well in second, with the Buchanan trained Oakfield Blossom ($6.50) holding on for third.

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A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 33
FIELDING

Damien Lane stamped his three-year-old Fielding as a horse with a future after his breakthrough win in the 1100m GOSFORD RSL CLUB 3YO MAIDEN.

It had been a frustrating run for Lane with the son of Deep Field, who had been placed in all his five previous starts. 

“It was a relief today for sure,” Lane said. “It’s been frustrating to say the least. “We’ve had all sorts of problems with him early and drawn some bad barriers, but he has raced in good company.

“His whole attitude has changed, and he’s grown into a lovely horse with plenty of ability.

“He pricked his ears late today and it was quite soft in the end. He’s definitely going in the right direction.”

Fielding, raced by a syndicate including Lane and his wife Kate, was sent out $2.40 favourite and given a well rated ride by apprentice Jackson Searle.

He beat the Ron Quinton trained Miss Mya ($8) who isn’t far off a win, with the Waterhouse/Bott All Too Scottish ($14), third. 

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A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 34
THE MILKYBAR KID

The addition of blinkers made the difference to the Waterhouse/Bott trained The Milkybar Kid ($2fav), who atoned from his last start defeat to win the STAR FM 104.5 MAIDEN over 1600m.

The Reliable Man gelding looked to have the race won at Gosford on May 26 before running off the track in the final stages. 

He was trialled in blinkers and the stable was confident he could break though. 

Tim Clark settled the three-year-old midfield, gaining ground from the 600m and hitting the front on straightening. 

He was able to find the fence in the straight and sped away to score by more than four lengths. 

“He trialled well with the blinkers on, and this looked like the right race for him today,” stable representative Neil Paine said.

“It’s a good steppingstone for him. Gai and Adrian have started a lot of horse’s careers around here and this could be another.”

The winner is co-owned by former AJC Chairman Bob Charley.

The O’Shea trained Count On Me ($3.40) was second, over Dash Dash Dash prepared by Ian Finn ($14).

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A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 35
DOM TYCOON

A super ride by Sam Clipperton secured victory for the well supported Dom Tycoon in the 1600m THE ROOS FOUNDATION BM64.

Clipperton took an early lead on the four-year-old and was able to get some cheap sectionals in the middle stages. 

He fought on strong to the line, able to hold out the fast-finishing Oakfield Storm ($4.40) from the Buchanan yard, with the O’Shea trained favourite Denarau ($2.70fav) third.

Robl said Dom Tycoon had come off his last start fourth at Hawkesbury in good form.

“He’s normally genuine when he finds form. Sam has won on him here previously and I had expected him to be near the lead. 

“He prefers the firmer tracks and everything going well I expected him to be hard to beat today.”

The four-year-old by Written Tycoon, brought up his fifth win at start 23. 

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A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 36
RUNNING BEAR

Progressive Muswellbrook mare Running Bear brought up win number three in impressive style beating a strong field in the THE BELLA GROUP BM64.

Trained by Jan Bowen and ridden by Ashley Morgan, the daughter of Your Song, is amassing a good record with three wins and five placings from just 13 starts. 

She was coming off a second in the Highway at Randwick on May 28 and kept firm in the betting starting at $6.50.

Morgan placed her just behind the speed in the early stages, before circling the leaders on the turn and drawing away in the straight to win by almost two lengths. 

“We threw her in the deep end last start at Randwick and she handled herself brilliantly,” Justin Bowen, representing the stable said. 

“We thought if she could repeat that performance she’d be in the finish and that’s what happened. 

“We don’t come this way often, unless we think we’ve got a chance, and it worked out today.”

Gary Moore’s Stay Wealthy ($26) finished strongly in second, with The Chosen One ($10), trained by Damien Lane, making up ground in the straight for third. 

Stewards adjourned an inquiry into Rachel King’s riding out of Adios Steve in the final stages. 

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A WINNING DAY FOR LOCALS 37
DIVINE OKAY

The favourite salutes in the last with the Bjorn Baker trained Divine Okay ($2.50) too strong for his opposition in a competitive Class 1. 

The Capitalist gelding brought up his second win at start four in the 1100m DOYALSON RSL CLASS 1, courtesy of a great ride by Josh Parr.

He pinched what proved to be a winning break on the turn and sped away in the straight, able to hold out the fast-finishing import Siyata from the O’Shea stable, with the luckless Tocomah ($4.60), trained by Gary Frazer, third.

“We were pretty keen on him today. It looked an ideal race,” Glen Lobb said. 

“He was a bit unlucky last start and didn’t get beat that far. I thought if he landed in the first four or five, he’d be hard to hold out.”

LOCALS BRING UP HOME TRACK DOUBLE

LOCALS BRING UP HOME TRACK DOUBLE 38

A super start to the day saw the Brett Partelle trained Nomoretawq breakthrough for a well-deserved win. 

He was the first of two locals to greet the judge, with Kristen Buchanan’s Ready’s Girl winning later in the day. 

Partelle’s Onemorenowmore gelding was having his 19th start in the WYONG RACE CLUB FUNCTION CENTRE 4YO & UP MAIDEN (1350m) and his third for the stable. Long-time friend Peter Eggleston, who recently retired from the training ranks, gave the six-year-old to Partelle and he has run a fourth and third this preparation. 

Nomoretawq was sent out $3.60 favourite on the strength of those runs and the win was never in doubt after Hugh Bowman took him to an early lead. 

He rated him well in front, drawing away in the final stages to win by almost two lengths over Cataratas ($4.80) trained by Peter Robl, with Jaxon’s Day ($5.50) from the Michael Rinkin stable third. 

Partelle, who was ill and unable to attend, had expected a nice home track run from Nomoretawq and paid tribute to Eggleston. 

“Peter sent him down in good order. He’s settled in well and enjoys the environment. We have him in the water a lot which is therapeutic. He seems to appreciate that and is responding to it. 

“He’s improved since his last run, and I expected him to race well.”

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LOCALS BRING UP HOME TRACK DOUBLE 39
RAZETA

A luckless run for the Damien Lane trained Fielding paved the way for Kris Lee’s debutant Razeta to storm down the outside and claim victory in the 1100m THE ZING ON PROV & CTRY MAIDEN. 

Lane’s three-year-old had been placed in all four starts leading into the race and was the $3 favourite despite a wide draw.

When jockey Darryl McLellan was unable to gain cover in the early stages, it was always going to be a hard task for Fielding. 

Kerrin McKevoy had the sit on the leaders and was able to run down Fielding in the final stages to win by a long neck.

Razeta ($10.60), a daughter of Deep Field, was coming off three trials and is raced by long time Lees clients Bob and Sue Hannon.

“She was impressive and it’s nice to have another youngster coming through. Hopefully she’ll keep going now,” stable representative Danny Greer said.

Kristen Buchanan’s Oakfield Duke ($4) ran on strongly to finish third, while the The Halo from the Widdup stable wasn’t far off the placegetters. 

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A race to race double for Kerrin McEvoy after the Godolphin trained favourite Shirshov ($2) proved too strong in the FINGER LICKIN GOOD MAIDEN over 1000m.

The Exosphere gelding was having his seventh career start and coming off a second at Hawkesbury over 1100m on May 19. 

Despite racing fiercely in the middle stages, the three-year-old was able to hold off the fast-finishing Nickelback to win by a long neck. 

Stable representative Darren Beadman said hopefully the penny has dropped for Shirshov, who had run three previous placings. 

“Sometimes a maiden is the hardest race to win and once they get the monkey of their back they can go on and be good. Hopefully that’s the case here,” he said.

“He sprung the gates today and Kerrin was able to dictate, and the horse fought on strongly.”

The Hawkes trained Nickelback ($3.20) looks close to a win, while Secret Hunter ($19), trained by Michael Freedman, put in a much-improved run finishing third. 

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LOCALS BRING UP HOME TRACK DOUBLE 40
DENARAU

A big plunge paid off in the KYLE OLIVER MAIDEN with the John O’Shea trained Denarua blitzing his opposition over the 1600m to win by more than two lengths. 

A $140,000 So You Think yearling, Denarau was having his third career start, finishing a close second at Hawkesbury over 1500m on May 19.

He caught the eye of punters who backed him in from $5 to $2.60 in the final stages and they weren’t disappointed. 

It was a patient ride by Tommy Berry, who settled off the pace, making his run around the 400m and coming down the outside to win by two lengths. 

“It was a good win today,” Berry said. “She’s got a bit of ability and I don’t think she’ll have any trouble making it to mid-week Metropolitan grade.”

Avian Crescent ($13) trained by Jarrod Austin was second, over the $4.60 second favourite Calm Down, from the Quinton stable, who appeared to have every chance.

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LOCALS BRING UP HOME TRACK DOUBLE 41
SOROKIN

An upset in the 2000m THE STACK BURGER CLASS 1 & MAIDEN with Goulburn visitor Sorokin outstaying his opposition. 

Trained by Jean Dubois, the Star Witness gelding was having just his third career start and could have a bright future as a stayer.

He had been unplaced in his two previous runs at Kembla and Canberra but put on a great staying performance at Wyong to beat the more favoured runners. 

Dylan Gibbons took on the short priced favourite Vyner ($1.55) in the straight, the pair going head-to-head in the final stages with Sorokin getting the better on the line. 

“It was only his third start, and he was up to 2000. He copped pressure and won his first race, so it’s onwards and upwards for him,” Gibbons said.

The winner had been $41 in early betting but earned some support to start $14.

The Karen Outrim trained Mr Luke ($31) put in an improved performance to finish third.

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Speedy Scone mare Tucson Valley was one of the more impressive winners on the day, bringing up her fifth win from just 10 starts in the 1100m COLONEL SANDERS CONDITIONAL BM68.

The daughter of Swiss Ace, trained by Stephen Jones, was able to lead throughout, fending off an early challenge from Trust Me, to fight on for a strong win.

Tucson Valley owned and raced by Gerry Harvey, is by his NZ sire Swiss Ace, out of his classy Flemington 1400m winner Sabino Canyon.

She had been impressive winning in the country beating her opponents at Wellington by more than seven lengths and handled the step up to Provincial grade in style. 

Starting at $3.50 favourite, Tuscon Valley beat the Partelle trained Trust Me ($14) by a length, with Jenny Graham’s The Drake ($6) third. 

There was drama at the start with Kim Waugh’s second favourite Black Jacamar rearing in the barriers and jumping some 10 lengths behind the other runners. 

After deliberating stewards declared Black Jacamar a runner. 

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LOCALS BRING UP HOME TRACK DOUBLE 42

Kristen Buchanan’s new stable acquisition Ready’s Girl ($19) wasted no time making it to the winner’s circle, taking out the THE RAYMOND FAMILY F&M BM64 over 1350m.

The Better Than Ready mare was given a perfect front-running ride by Rachel King to bring up her fifth career win.

Previously trained by Chris Anderson in Queensland, Ready’s Girl was having her 29th start. 

It was a super effort by Buchanan to have her ready first up, with her last start on the Sunshine Coast in early December. 

Ready’s Girl was given a Randwick trial leading into the race and was able to win by almost a length over the Kim Waugh trained favourite Buba ($2.10). 

My Snow Queen ($3.80) from the John Sargent yard, was third. 

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Kris Lees and Dylan Gibbons brought up a double in the final race of the day, after Mobstar showed an impressive turn of foot to take out the 1350m WYONG’S NEXT RACE MEETING THURSDAY JUNE 16 BM64.

The Shalaa three-year-old pulled away in the final stages to bring up his second win from start five, giving the stable plenty of confidence going forward. 

“It was a really good run at Scone last start, and he has continued to please at home,” stable representative Danny Greer said. 

“It was good to see him dominate like that today. Dylan had him in a nice stalking position and when he asked him to improve, he certainly did that. 

“Australian Bloodstock have found another nice one. It will be interesting to see how far he goes.”

Starting $3.80 favourite, Mobstar beat the Ryan/Alexiou trained Mihocek ($6), with the Perry trained Harlem Groove ($5.50) third. 

O’SHEA AND PIKE RULE WYONG

O’SHEA AND PIKE RULE WYONG 43

It was the John O’Shea and Willie Pike show at a rain affected Wyong meeting, the pair teaming for a race to race double.

Pike piloted the O’Shea duo Duke Of Gordon and Awesome Wonder to victory, the latter being targeted towards the Queensland Oaks.

The locals weren’t to be denied with Kristen Buchanan’s One Way Street returning to form to take out the 1200m Maiden.

The last two races on the card were abandoned after heavy showers continued throughout the afternoon. 

HMA GROUP MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): 

O’SHEA AND PIKE RULE WYONG 44
AFRICAN DAISY – Brodie Loy

The result was never in double for the Annabel Neasham trained African Daisy who justified her short price with an effortless win. 

The American Pharoah filly was resuming from a spell and Neasham had her primed for victory, with two impressive Warwick Farm trials. 

It was an easy watch for punters, with Brodie Loy taking an early sit behind the leader, easing to the front mid-race, before sprinting away to win by more than five lengths. 

Raphael Marchelli, representing the stable, said they had been confident leading into the race. 

“She had two nice trials and looked very sharp,” he said. “She likes heavy tracks too so we knew that wouldn’t be a problem. She looked like a winner a long way out and we were happy with that.

“Her coat wasn’t perfect, and she was green late, so there is still plenty of improvement to come.”

African Daisy ($1.20fav), beat Gracious Gracie ($7.50) from the Mark Stewart stable, with Karen Outrim’s Australian Citizen ($31) third. 

O’SHEA AND PIKE RULE WYONG 45

HMA INSTRUMENTATION MAIDEN HANDICAP (1200m)

A change in tactics proved to be a winning move for Kristen Buchanan’s One Way Street.

The Super One gelding was taken to the lead by Hugh Bowman, who maintained the front throughout and despite tiring in the final stages, held on to win.

It was Bowman’s only ride for the day and Buchanan was full of praise for the jockey. 

“He was the perfect rider for this horse, and I wanted to get his perspective on him,” she said. 

“Clearly, he’s going to be one paced. We’ve tried to hold him up at his past two starts and it hasn’t worked, so we did things differently today. 

“It was fantastic to see him win.”

One Way Street was sent out $2.40 favourite, based on his two placings on his home track in rain affected conditions in his first preparation.  

It was another runner-up for Taree trainer Mark Stewart, with All Beans ($14) finishing strongly and not far off a win. 

Damien Lane’s Red Cobra ($3.50) was also doing his best work late coming from well back, to finish third. 

HMA POWER GENERATION MAIDEN (2000m)

O’SHEA AND PIKE RULE WYONG 46

LOVE RULES – Reece Jones

A perfectly executed plan saw Rod Northam’s Love Rules breakthrough for her debut win over the 2000m.

The daughter of Pierro was given a great ride by Reece Jones, who followed his boss’s instructions to a tee, settling the filly just behind the leaders. 

She hit the front on straightening, sprinting away in the final stages to record her first win at start six. 

The three-year-old was coming off a third at Newcastle over 1890m on April 9 on a heavy track. 

Northam was impressed by the filly’s late turn of foot and pleased with the ride. 

“I was pretty happy with that. She hasn’t figured out how to race properly and is the type of filly who the older she gets the better she’ll get.

“She showed a nice turn of foot, and it was good to see her kicking away at the end of 2000m. It was a really good ride from Reece. He hasn’t had a lot of luck with the barriers on this filly, but the owners have stuck with him, and he repaid them today.

“I trained her mother, Myamira and she was a super mare, so I’m hoping this filly will keep improving.”

Love Rules earned late support to start $2.60 second favourite, over the Maher/Eustace runner-up Bay Of Kiel ($2.40), who despite being momentarily held up in the straight, appeared to have every chance. 

All About Ollie ($12) trained by Bruce Cross, was third. 

HMA MATERIALS HANDLING MAIDEN HANDICAP (1600m)

O’SHEA AND PIKE RULE WYONG 47

Irish import Awesome Wonder wasted no time making her impact on Australian racing, winning at her first start. 

The well-bred Galileo filly was unplaced at her three starts in Ireland before her move to the John O’Shea stables. 

She had three trials leading into the Wyong race and earned some support in the betting, sent out $4 third favourite.

Willie Pike settled her at the rear of the field and looked to have a task ahead of him before setting sail around the turn and storming down the outside to score a narrow victory. 

He ran down Ron Quinton’s Calm Down ($3.70) in the final stages, with the Widdup trained favourite Sneaky Island ($3) driving through on the line to secure second. 

O’Shea has a good opinion of Awesome Wonder and is targeting the Queensland Oaks.

“It was a really good performance today. It’s difficult to make up ground and she came from last. She’s got a really bright future and is a real delight to train. 

“She’s a full sister to a horse who was quite effective over the mile and half, and I didn’t think the distance would be a problem.”

The filly was purchased from Ireland by well-known owner/breeder Jason Abrahams who bred her mother, a Flemington Coolmore Stud Group 1 winner Nechita, who was sold on to Ireland.

HMA FLOW & INDUSTRIAL CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1600m)

O’SHEA AND PIKE RULE WYONG 48

A race to race double for John O’Shea and William Pike with Duke Of Gordon ($1.70) justifying his short price favouritism with a dominant win.

The Dissident gelding made it back-to-back Wyong victories relishing both the heavy track and distance. 

Pike placed the three-year-old just off the early pace, drawing level with the leader before the turn and drawing away in the straight to win by more than four lengths. 

O’Shea had been confident leading into the race, with Duke Of Gordon having improved since his Wyong win on April 14. 

“He had improved at home, was fit and adept on the ground so I was reasonably confident,” he said. 

“He relaxed a lot better today. It’s great for his ownership group, Go Racing, to have a progressive, young staying horse with a future. “

Ben Hill’s Allthehills ($11) put in another nice run finishing second, over another local runner, Launch Attack ($16) from the Damien Lane stable. 

HMA GEOTECHNICAL BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1350m)

O’SHEA AND PIKE RULE WYONG 49

Clarry Connors was surprised when his mare Segrill got the nod in the closest finish of the day. 

The five-year-old dived at the line to snatch victory over the short priced favourite Crazy Train to bring up her fifth career win. 

“I thought she was in front a stride before and for a stride after but wasn’t sure she got there on the line,” Connors said. “Winners are grinners, so we’ll take it. She’s a pretty honest mare who has put together a string of placings.”

Connors had been dodging heavy tracks with Segrill but decided to run at Wyong. 

“She’s not a heavy track horse and I scratched her the other day to come here. She needed to go around and has handled it well.”

Winning rider Tom Sherry agreed the heavy conditions had been a concern. 

“She’s got a bad record on heavy tracks but couldn’t avoid that today and Mr Connors had her in great order. 

“I thought as I turned into the straight, she still had a lot to offer, and she went on with it. There’s still a bit of improvement to come.”

Segrill ($7) beat the Dunn trained favourite Crazy Train ($1.80) who looked to have every chance, with the Perry trained Tupou ($16) putting in an improved performance for third. 

SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL

SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL 50

A strong meeting on an improving track, produced some impressive wins including the South Australian Derby bound Bastida. 

John Sargent’s three-year-old colt looks set for bigger things after dominating his rivals over the 2100m.

Gwenda Markwell had a successful trip north returning home to Kembla with two winners, Mentalism and Highballer, while Brenton Avdulla took out the riding honours with a double. 

After the meeting was in some doubt early following heavy rain, the track improved from a 10 to a heavy 8, earning the praise of participants. 

Race 1 – TAB.COM.AU BENCHMARK 64 (2000m): 

SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL 51

John Sargent’s Bastida stamped his credentials as both a stayer and mudlark with a strong win in the opening race over 2100m.

And the stable has big plans for the gelding planning to target black type staying races.

“The penny has dropped, and we have a couple of nice races planned for him at Flemington on Anzac Day and the South Australian Derby. He loves the soft tracks, so that’s a bonus,” stable representative Campbell Ashby said. 

“It was a race in two here today and he was always going to be able to outstay them.”

The Pierro three-year-old brought up his second victory in as many starts, coming off a Goulburn victory over the same distance on March 18. 

The win had come on a soft track and a previous second at Newcastle in the heavy, gave punters the confidence to send him out $2 favourite. 

Tim Clark stalked the John Cooper trained Arabolini ($2.80), in his customary role as leader, before hitting the front on straightening and drawing way to win by more than a length.

It was a pick-up ride for Clark, replacing his brother-in-law, Josh Parr.

The outsider of the small field, the Perry trained Into The Oblivion ($14) was third, more than seven lengths behind the winner. 

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Race 2 – WYONG RACE CLUB FUNCTION CENTRE MAIDEN (1600m): 

SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL 52

A gun ride by Willie Pike helped secure victory for the John O’Shea trained race favourite Duke Of Gordon ($2.60). 

The Dissident gelding, having his fourth career start, was coming off a third at Scone on March 16 over the same distance and track conditions.

Pike was able to position the three-year-old in the box seat just behind the barriers after a good start.

He got to the centre of the track on straightening and was able to hold off his rivals to win by a length and a half. 

Duke Of Gordon was an $80,000 Karaka yearling, by a Giant’s Causeway mare.

Taree galloper Preferred Choice ($31), trained by Mark Stewart, battled on well for second, over Gwenda Markwell’s Blackall ($4.20), who looked like the one to follow. 

There were excuses for the Hawkes trained Poetic Drama ($2.90) who had to work hard in the early stages when planted three and finished fourth.

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SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL 53

Race 3 – DE BORTOLI WINES 2YO MAIDEN (1000m): 

Annabel Neasham’s good opinion of Diamond City ($2.40fav) was franked with a strong debut win over the 1000m.

It was a race in one after Brenton Avdulla led throughout to win by almost three lengths.

The filly finished third in a three-way photo at Newcastle when resuming on a heavy track on March 31. 

Neasham had been impressed with the run giving her confidence heading into the Wyong race, and she wasn’t disappointed with the win never appearing in doubt with Avdulla’s positive ride.

“I’ve always had a lot of time for her,” Neasham said. “It was a good tough run that day at Newcastle in quite testing conditions.

“I was confident today in a small field Brenton would take luck out the equation and she’d be hard to beat.”

There were no excuses for the beaten brigade with Ron Quinton’s Light Press ($8.50) and Damien Lane’s Red Cobra ($7.50) filling the minor placings.

Diamond City, by Ilovethiscity out of a Danerich mare, was a $120,000 yearling purchase at the Inglis Melbourne Yearling sale. 

Race 4 – HUCKEL EXCAVATIONS 3YO MAIDEN (1200m): 

SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL 54

An ultimatum by Mark Newnham paid dividends with his Capitalist colt Mission Value breaking through for his first win at start three. 

Newnham had been disappointed with Mission Value’s last outing when resuming at Warwick Farm, finishing ninth over the 1100m some 10 lengths off the winner.

He had debuted with a third in stronger company in the Listed Inglis Nursery in December 2020 before a lengthy spell.

Newnham had planned to geld Mission Value if he failed to produce at Wyong, with that procedure now likely on hold. 

“He just didn’t seem to take much interest at Warwick Farm and was never in the race,” he said. 

“He had a fair bit of work and a jump out since then, so I thought it was time he showed us what he’s got.”

The Capitalist colt, a $70,000 yearling, drifted considerably in betting, starting at $10 after earlier being half those odds.

Tyler Schiller pinched the win with a good kick on the turn and was able to hold out the fast-finishing Hawkes debutant Airraid ($3.40). 

John Steinmetz’s Khumbu ($7) was third after earning late support, with both the minor placegetters not far off a win. 

The $2.15 favourite Island Lass was caught wide early and failed to run on.

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Race 5 – PBL LAW GROUP MAIDEN (1300m): 

SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL 55

Antonio Giovanni showed his class to take out the 1300m Maiden but had to fight hard on the line to win by the narrowest of margins. 

Kim Waugh’s Oxford Vison seemed to have the race won before Antonio Giovanni dived at the line late, with the judge required the separate the pair. 

Chris Waller’s All Too Hard colt got the nod, bringing up his first win at start six, in his first run for the stable. 

He was sent out $1.75 favourite, after having competed in two Victorian Group races in the spring. 

He looked primed for a good first up run with two good trials leading up Wyong race, the colt closing off nicely in both. 

Brenton Avdulla, who brought up a double, settled him just behind the lead pair throughout, coming with a sustained run in the straight to snatch victory on the line. 

Oxford Vision ($2.20) has now had three seconds and a third from four runs and deserves a win, while Sir Savaluca ($11) from the Pride stable, battled on for third.

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Race 6 – GO ELECTRICAL BENCHMARK 64 (1300m): 

SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL 56

Impending father Keegan Latham believes there could be more wins in store for Mentalism after the gelding notched up his second victory.

Latham’s partner was expected to give birth on Friday and the jockey was excited to ride a winner on the eve of the arrival of his first child.

He was impressed by the improvement in the Gwenda Markwell trained Mentalism ($9), who has partnered in four of his five runs this preparation. 

“He’s turned the corner quick and has been very consistent in his runs and improved a lot,” Latham said. “I’ve been looking forward to the 1300m today because I believe he is better suited over more ground.

“He was a bit keen early in his career and that’s why they kept running him over shorter trips.

“He’s really learned his trade well now, you can see by the way he won today and hopefully there are more wins to come.”

It was a good ride by Latham, who had to weave a passage in the straight before getting the spilt and racing through to win by a length and a half. 

Wild Chap, trained by Brett Lazzarini ($11) was the runner-up and looks close to a win, while Godolphin’s $3.20 favourite Brillar, was third and looked to have every chance. 

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Race 7 – CARLTON DRAUGHT BENCHMARK 64 (1000m): 

SUCCESSFUL TRIP NORTH FOR MARKWELL 57

The Joe Pride trained Coal Crusher ($2.90fav) looks set for a good preparation on the strength of his first up win.

It was the third race victory for the super consistent son of Turffontein from nine starts, including five seconds. 

Pride had expected Coal Crusher to sprint well first up and Glynn Schofield gave him the perfect ride off the pace, before finding a gap in the straight and speeding away for a convincing win. 

“He’s a nice horse with a good future,” Pride said. “He’s not a 1000m horse but I was happy to see him finish off strongly with 61.5kg on his back. He’s in for a good preparation.”

It was an emotional victory for Pride with his son Brave on strapping duties for the first time. 

“I strapped my first Group 1 winner 21 years ago to the day,” he said. “It’s great to Brave get his first winner today.”

It was a real Pride family affair with Joe’s wife Kylie sharing ownership of the four-year-old.

Runner-up Suprina, from the Jarrod Austin stable, was attempting to bring up her fourth successive win which won’t be far off, while Charlie Porter’s Mr Polar ($20) put in a strong performance, coming from the rear of the field to finish third.

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Race 8 – WYONG’S NEXT RACE MEETING THURSDAY APRIL 28 PROVINCIAL CUP-CONDITIONAL CLASS 4 (1600m): 

A double to Gwenda Markwell and well-deserved victory to Highballer ($2.80fav), the four-year-old placed in four of his previous five starts this preparation. 

The ultra-consistent son of Teofilo was given a great ride by Rachel King, who had him positioned just behind the leader.

He hit the front on straightening and then the result was never in doubt, drawing away to win by more than a length. 

King was impressed with the victory. 

“He’s been really consistent, and I was able to get a nice run on speed today,” she said. “It was a nice tempo for him, and he let down really well late. 

“He races well on this track and did a great job.”

Highballer was coming off a second at Goulburn last start over the 1600m, beaten less than a length and punters kept the faith sending him out favourite. 

He beat the Snowden trained Vigorous Flow ($4.80), who was doing his best work late, with a much-improved performance by Tracey Bartley’s Kaaydeh ($81) for third. 

HILL BAGS A HOME TRACK WIN

HILL BAGS A HOME TRACK WIN 58

Ben Hill trained his first winner in almost two years courtesy of Allthehills who relished the heavy 10 track at Wyong to take out the 1350m Great Northern Provincial and Country Maiden

The Love Conquers All gelding has been a handful for Wyong based Hill who now seems to have found the key and his hopeful there will be more wins to come. 

With heavy rain falling throughout the day the meeting was postponed after the first four races due to poor visibility.

But fortunately for Hill his gelding took out the third race after running down Kim Waugh’s $1.40 favourite Oxford Vision on the line. 

It was a patient ride by local apprentice Pat Scorse, who settled the four-year-old just worse than midfield before peeling out around the turn and coming home strong to win by a long neck.

Hill had been unsure how Allthehills would get through the heavy track but the four-year-old had no issues. 

“We missed a run at Newcastle over 1800m and I scratched him on a heavy track. I thought we’ll come here today and give him a nice sound hit out on the heavy and see how we go, and he obviously got through it,” Hill said.

“Callum Bailey rides him in his work – he’s a bit hot headed for me. Cal has done a great job with him. He’s been a handful of a horse so hopefully he can go on with it now. 

“This will hopefully give him the confidence he needs. He was a very hot horse early on and we’ve had a few issues on the ground, no injuries at all, but hopefully the penny is starting to drop.”

Scorse said he believed Allthehills would get over more ground.

“I know Benny wants to get him over more ground and I don’t think he’ll have any trouble with that,” he said.

“We did have a nice run through today. I thought speed was quite a genuine tempo for a heavy rack and I got a nice trail a few pairs back. 

“He really switched on and get through ground good and when I ask him to improve, he gave me everything he had and finish the race off nicely.”

Allthehillis ($12) is raced by Hill and family members and was having his 10th race start. 

It was an all-Wyong trifecta, with Wayne Seelin’s Supreme Play ($51) third.

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HILL BAGS A HOME TRACK WIN 59

Sam Clipperton rode two of the four winners, taking out the 1350m Canadian Club Maiden on Mirra View for the Snowdens and the Vale Cam McBrien Maiden over 1000m on Prefer To Be Ready for Jay Hopkins. 

More Than Ready filly Mirra View was coming off a third at Newcastle on a slow track on March 17 and earned the confidence of punters, being sent out $1.30 favourite. 

She didn’t disappoint scoring by almost a length after Clipperton started his run around the 600m mark, circling the field and leading down the straight. 

Runner-up Roccaforte ($4) trained by Richard Litt, was strong late with a win not far off. 

Raging Climax ($15) trained by Kristen Buchanan, was third. 

Clipperton had partnered Mirra View in her previous start and had been confident coming into the race. 

“Her first up run was sound, and she went into that with only one trial,” he said. “She’s only a light filly and took plenty of improvement from that. 

“She looked the better horse in the race today, but she still had to get out there and do it.

“I thought being by More Than Ready she should handle the ground and she did.”

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HILL BAGS A HOME TRACK WIN 60

Clipperton had also been confident about the chances of Prefer To Be Ready ($4.40) with the filly having previously been placed on a heavy track. 

Raced by a syndicate including Hopkins wife Hannah, the three-year-old had been runner in her two previous starts last preparation at Gosford and Tuncurry. 

Clipperton settled her just off the speed in the early stages and was able to get the best out of her in the straight, drawing away to win by a length and a half. 

“She’d had a good second on a heavy nine, so I thought she’d get through the ground. Jay had given her a good trial over 1000m, so I knew she’d be well primed for today.”

Brett Partelle’s Arion Story ($14) put in a nice run to finish second, over Kristen Buchanan’s debutant Tikitiboo ($5.50).

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HILL BAGS A HOME TRACK WIN 61

Mark Newnham’s race favourite Sonic The Hedgehog was able to outstay his rivals in the 2000m TAB.COM.AU Maiden.

The American Pharoah gelding was having his fourth race start, after finishing third at Goulbourn on March 18 over the 2100m. 

It was a race in two in the final stages with Sonic The Hedgehog getting the better of John Sargent’s Essential Sky ($3.70) to win by a length. 

Josh Par was the winning rider, with the three-year-old gelding having no problems getting through the heavy 10 conditions. 

Sky Ace ($2.80) trained by Brad Widdup was third. 

BARTLEY QUALIFIES ANOTHER FOR PROVINCIAL FINAL

BARTLEY QUALIFIES ANOTHER FOR PROVINCIAL FINAL 62

A last-minute decision to run Barossa Rosa paid dividends for Tracey Bartley, the mare taking out the $150,000 Wyong Polytrack Provincial-Midway Qualifier. 

Consistent heavy rain caused the meeting to be transferred from Wyong to Newcastle, but Bartley had no complaints taking out the feature and the previous race, the 1200m BM68, with Sebrenco. 

Barossa Rosa is now the second of Bartley’s small team to qualify for the $500,000 final at Randwick on April 9, joining stablemate Kiss Sum. 

There was a great deal of uncertainty about the four-year-old making the final qualifier at Newcastle, after she suffered a stone bruise earlier in the week. 

Bartley and his team worked day and night to ensure she was fit for her shot at the rich series. 

“She trod on something and came out with a big stone bruise, and we worked morning and night to get her there,” Bartley said. 

“I was expecting to scratch her the morning of the race, but we trotted her up and she was fine.”

The rest as they say is history, but things didn’t quite to plan to plan, giving Bartley a few nervous moments during the race.

Normally a front running mare, jockey Jeff Penza landed toward the rear, unable to cross from the wide barrier. 

He had to come from last on the turn, but courtesy of a great rails hugging ride, was able to pull away to score by more than a length. 

“I’ve never seen this mare last in her life, so I was a bit worried,” Bartley conceded. “But she cut the corner and I think he saved six lengths. 

“All credit to Jeff and I hope he comes and rides her in the final.

“We’ve got two in the final now and it’s a great effort for stable with just 20 horses in work and a credit to our staff. 

“We’ve got some nice horses in work, and we look after them.”

Penza said that when things didn’t go to plan at the start, he opted to take a sit. 

“I had to take what we had, so I slipped over to the fence, and she really sprinted when I wanted her to. Once she got into clear running she hit the line well.”

Grande Rumore from the Lees stable was second, giving the powerful stable five runners in the final.

Kristen Buchanan’s Pandora Blue was brave in defeat finishing fourth, after leading for most of the race. 

The Waugh, Buchanan, Lane, Farley, Bartley and Munce stables all have horses nominated for the final shot at the series, the Wildcard at Newcastle this coming Thursday.