Provincial Championships A Possibility for Locally Trained Designated

Provincial Championships A Possibility for Locally Trained Designated 1

By Katrina Patridge, Photos Steve Hart

Local trainer Kristen Buchanan has a potential Provincial Championships qualifier in her stable after Jeff Penza delivered a textbook ride on Designated – a 3yo son of Rubick in Race 7 101.3’s Top Koala-T Aussie Race Day Benchmark 64 Handicap 1600m.

The win was a second under the class record time set back on 12 December 2018 by Classic Princess (1:37.32).

Heavily backed, Designated took a clear lead at the 100m mark and had three lengths on the field at the winning post. 

A delighted Buchanan and an equally happy owner Alex Illes couldn’t contain their excitement as their horse returned to scale. 

“This is fantastic, just fantastic!” Mr Illes said.  

Buchanan said the horsehad been screamingout for the 1600m.

“He went very well for Serg [Lisny] when fresh over 1000m. Since then he has been a little bit tardy away and building into his races and today was an experiment, but I was very confident that he would get it and I like being right,” she said. 

Buchanan said Designated had come to be in her care after running amiss in Queensland. 

“Alex is his breeder and he and his wife Deidre send us a few horses and they are lovely people to train for.”

Second in the race was Nordic Lover (Glyn Schofield), third was Frenzied (Tommy Berry) and fourth was Parry Sound (Billy Owen). Race time was 1:36.29 (last 600m in 34.18). Official margins were 2& 3/4 lengths x 1/2 head. 


Jason Coyle and Mikayla Weir combined to take out the 1100m You’ll Love It! By The Halekulani Bowling Club 4YO & Up Maiden Plate with Freefica. 

The four-year-old daughter of Benfica broke from the barriers with early speed and maintained the pressure for t 1100m, the remainder of the field simply running out of room to catch her. 

Coyle said the mare had done it at both ends and had done ‘a good job of it.

“She will now work her way through her classes. She has a similar racing pattern to her sister who is stakes placed but whether she has what is required to get to that level is yet to be seen,” Coyle said.

Weir said of her mount: “when she got to the front she had a good look around. She travelled well but was a bit raw.”

Patrina (Chris O’Brien) tried desperately to close the gap in the final stages without success. Race favourite Shadow Colour finished third (Tom Marquand) and Pure Faith (Tommy Berry) was fourth.

Race time was 1:02.98 (last 600m in 34.24). Official margins were 3/4 length x 3.5 lengths. Track rating is a Good 4. Rail position is true. 


Travis Wolfgram piloted the well-bred Lady Legend to her first win in class record time in The Jett’s Fitness @San Remo Aussie Day Hoseplay Maiden Plate over 1600m. 

The $300,000 daughter of Redoute’s Choice, trained by Les Bridge, had been winless in her previous six starts but made amends over the 1600m with winning jockey Travis Wolfgram saying the victory gave him every indication she could appreciate even further ground. 

Stable representative Carmel Size said the filly was the first she had bought for owner Mr Ho and had always been a horse that needed strengthening. 

“I gave her another four months off at the end of last preparation and I think we are going to reap the rewards of that this preparation,” Size said.

“She is a very special filly to me and is by Redoute’s Choice so that is going to hold her in good stead.

“I certainly think she will go on to city class.”

Wolgram said that Lady Legend jumped well and showed good early speed and was on the back of the right horses coming to the turn.  

“It was a good tough win,” he said. 

Space is Deep (Tommy Berry) made up good ground to take 2nd, Sebourg (Robbie Dolan) hung on for 3rd and Startalk (Tom Sherry) was 4th.

Lady Legend won in a time of 1.37.22 (last 600m 34.22). Official margins were 3/4 length x a head. 

A protest 2nd (Space Is Deep) against 1st (Lady Legend) was dismissed.


Darkening skies and a threatening storm put the races back by one come by the third race, the Capital One Real Estates Aussie, Aussie, Aussie … Run … Run … Run Maiden Handicap over 1350m.  

Race favourite Atherton (Jay Ford) led from the start and Capri of Tuffy (Cejay Graham) took a sit behind. 

Just after the turn, following a slight wobble, the three-year-old filly found her balance and let down, easily sprinting past the opposition to secure the win. 

“We elected to come here and claim 2kg off her back and put Cejay on her and ride her on the speed,” trainer Peter Robl said.

“Those tactics proved correct. Every so often you get it right. I may have asked too much of her last preparation.

“She’s a very genuine filly and she can certainly win a metropolitan race – a mid-week at Canterbury or similar. 

“The owner Richard Tuffy also owns the mare and bred this filly so he’ll be over the moon. 

“It’s great for everyone involved.”  

Another class record fell in this race, the previous record of 1:18.72 set by Absolute on January 28, 2018. 

Amica (Travis Wolfgram) finished second and Charles Seven (Tommy Berry) was third with Atherton (Jay Ford) fourth after making up some late ground. Race time was 1:18.68 (final 600m in 35.37). Official margins were 3/4 length x 1.25 length.


The Alloom Beauty Aussie Day Dash Class 1 Handicap over 1100m  was pitched as a galloping lesson and it panned out as exactly that … or did it? 

The Godolphin owned and trained Acumen, whose pedigree page sports Group 1 winners and sires such as Helmet and Epaulette, jumped from the starting gates at odds of $1.30.

The royal blue Godolphin silks gave every indicator of leading from pillar to post and Jason Collet made it look like a morning at track work. 

Keagan Latham had other ideas and as the horses powered into the final 100m, the Jason Attard & Lucy Keegan-Attard trained Reiby’s Regent (at odds of $26) suddenly loomed as a major threat, reducing Acumen’s lead with every stride.  

In horse racing though you just have to win, even if just by a neck but punters who took the $1.30 would of been having heart palpitations.

“He didn’t overdo it early,” Godolphin’s assistant trainer Darren Beadman said post-race.

“It’s always nice to see them back up and go from a maiden to a Class 1, particularly to win a fast race like this one. 

“He was still in control of things and strong on the line. They broke 11 seconds for nearly every furlong that they ran today and that’s not an easy task so he’s a horse with a good future.

“He’s now had two Provincial wins so James [Cummings] will try and find a nice mid-week city race for him now, just go through the grades and see what he has to offer. 

“He is only a lightly framed horse, so I think there is quite a lot of upside to him.”

Reiby’s Regent looks a horse to follow after today’s effort. Hyannis Point (Jay Ford) was third and Circus (Robbie Dolan) was fourth. Race time was 1:03.06 (last 600m 33.39). Official margins were a neck x 1.75 lengths. 


Horses that put money in your bank account every time they step foot out are always an owner’s best friend and Merlinite gave her owners more reasons to love her today taking out the Event Cinemas Gold Class Gallop Benchmark 64 Handicap over 2100m. 

The John O’Shea trained four-year-old mare, ridden by Tom Sherry, didn’t have the easiest of runs for the first half of the race given the muddling pace and her position against the fence. 

Making her move at the 500m mark, Merlinite came wide and took the lead from Sea Spirit (Keagan Latham) at the 150m mark and was strong late to post back to back wins. 

“She really hit the line strong,” Sherry said.

“It was a massive run. She travelled well throughout and I just wanted to get her to the outside so she could get the run.”

“She will be off to town now,” stable representative Tom Charlton said. 

“She is now at a rating of about 64. She is also at the bracket of about 2400m and needs a wider track. The barrier seems to be a bit of an issue for her.

“She is jumping a bit slow. Whether she is just very relaxed it’s hard to say. She needs more room to best show her assets.”

Highjacker (Travis Wolfram) was second, Sea Spirt (Keagan Latham) was third and Elleofadeel (Rory Hutchings) was fourth. Race time was 2:10.32 (last 600m 34.04). Official margins were 1.5 lengths x a nose.


By the same sire as Everest winner Yes Yes Yes, Turnstyle showed she has plenty of potential when she showed the opposition a clean set of heels in the Freddy’s Benchmark 64 Handicap over 1000m.

The three-year-old filly has now won her last two starts and placed second in her only other race. Her latest win was in class record time; the previous record being set by Tough Larry on 27 November 2019 (a time of 57.10).

Turnstyle is raced by a well-known group of owners who include three brothers, the Hendersons, who owned and raced Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, Champion two-year-old colt/Gr 1 Golden Slipper winner Sebring, Magic Millions two-year-old winner and Gr 1 Galaxy H winner Sweet Idea and Caulfield Cup winner Descarado. Turnstyle.

They may well be their next star in the making.

“She’s always shown us promise but we have had setback after setback, and it has always held back the preparation. Nothing major but enough to hold things back,” David Henderson said after the race. 

“She has never done too much wrong.

“We have always thought she was going to be Saturday city class if not better so we thought we would come here today and hopefully she would win. 

“It was a tough race, but she was comfortable, and she won it well, so we’re really pleased.

“She has a bit of that X factor about her and that keeps coming out as we go along with the preparation.” 

Jason Collett was the successful jockey, the win bringing up a winning double for him. 

Second was Tikkitala (Louise Day), third was Moccasin Miss (Tom Sherry) and fourth was My Fire Phoenix (Tommy Berry). Race time was 57.07 (last 600m in 33.17). Official margins were 1.5 lengths x 1.25 lengths.



By Frances O’Shea, Photos Steve Hart

Grant Buckley continued a winning run with a treble at Wyong, his second in just eight days.

The in-form rider rode a double for Godolphin with Canzonet and Rebukes, and booted home Opinions for Paul Perry.

Buckley had a standout season in 2018/2019 with 104 winners but looks set to surpass that figure with 57 to date.

His Wyong treble giving him nine winners in the past eight days.

Buckley’s first win came on well-bred Godolphin gelding Canzonet, who may have earned a reprieve from the sales ring after his impressive win in the WWW.TAB.COM.AU 4YO & UP MAIDEN over 1200m.

Canzonet (Photo Steve Hart)

The Exceed And Excel gelding was the first leg of a winning double for jockey Grant Buckley.

Darren Beadman, representing Godolphin, said he felt they might now reconsider the sale.

“The way he won there I’d think they could have second thoughts,” he said.

“He really put them away. It’s only his sixth start and he’s been placed three times.

“Bucko had a few options coming into the turn, but he opted to go wide and got the job done.”

Buckley, gave Canzonet a nice trail just off the pace, hooking to the outside on straightening, and drawing away on the line to win by more than three lengths.

Monstrosity ($6) from the Joe Pride stable was second, from the Pat Webster trained Lake Marion ($18).

The winner was sent out $1.24 short priced favourite on the strength of his last run, when he was narrowly defeated over 1100m at Hawkesbury.


A great front running saw Buckley secured his second victory on the Paul Perry trained Opinions ($6.50) in the CANADIAN CLUB CLASS 2 over 1600m.

A $220,000 So You Can Think gelding, Opinions ($6.50) brought up his second career win at start 17.

He was able to hold off the fast finishing Doctor Manhattan ($2.80fav) on the line to score a narrow victory.

Buckley considers there is further improvement to come in the four-year-old.

“It was a nice win today. I was able to dictate terms and quicken when I wanted to quicken and that won me the race,” he said.

Opinions (Photo Steve Hart)

“From the 500m I was able to get going on my bike and with no weight on his back, he did a great job.

“He’s got improvement in him. He will be a better horse on a bigger track and probably over a little bit further.”

Judicator ($3.30) from the Gerald Ryan stable was third.


The Godolphin trained Rebukes ($4.80) was the third leg of Buckley’s treble, taking out the 1350m MERCURE KOOINDAH WATERS GOLF & SPA RESORT F&M BENCHMARK 64.

The Sepoy mare proved too strong for her opposition on the line, scoring a one and a quarter length win over $4.80 equal favourites Nines Enough, trained by Gabrielle Englebrecht, with Money Heist ($5.50) from the Waterhouse/Bott stable, third.

Rebukes (Photo Steve Hart)

Darren Beadman was full of praise for the ride by Buckley.

“He rode her really well. He had options again on the turn and took the right one,” he said.

“Obviously she’s stepping up in distance a little bit but being by Sepoy, they tend to get better as they get older.

“She will go through her grades and I’m sure James will find a nice race for her somewhere.

“She’s 480kg, a big girl, and she could make a nice horse.”


Irish jockey Oison Orr added to his tally of Wyong winners with a double for the Waller stable.

Orr, who arrived in Sydney in late November, has had four rides at Wyong for three wins.

His latest double came on Sayl, who broke through for his debut win in the 1600m maiden, and Duneagle, who took out the 1350m maiden.

Orr is a two-time champion Irish apprentice, spending three months with the Waller stable.

Oison Orr (Photo Steve Hart)

He has more than 120 winners to his name, five of those since arriving in Sydney.

“It’s been lucky enough here for me and I like the track,” Orr said. “I’m really enjoying my stint in Sydney.”

Relocating from Victoria proved the key for Sayl who broke through for his first win in the 1600m CENTRAL COAST BUILDING MAIDEN.

The four-year-old Great Britain import was having his 13th career start, and first in NSW, having been placed on three prior occasions in France and once at Moonee Valley.

“Chris likes to move them around if he thinks they have improvement in them, if they are getting bored or need more confidence and it worked a treat for this bloke today,” stable foreman Craig Ritchie said.

“He is still learning and is a horse that doesn’t have a lot of confidence, and does a lot wrong, so it was great to see him get a win today.

“He will continue to improve and should take plenty away from the win today.

“Oison (Orr) gave him the run of the race and that certainly helped. He is riding really well.”

Orr settled the gelding midfield, hitting the lead on straightening and drawing away to win by almost two lengths.

It was the second Wyong win for Orr, who claimed several Irish apprenticeships before coming to Australia in December.

Sayl ($7) beat Keen On Gold ($4) trained by Jason Coyle, with the race favourite Flying Mojo ($3.20) from the Anthony Cummings stable, third.

Ritchie considers Duneagle has a bright future following his victory in the 1350m RYAN’S METAL AND ROOFING MAIDEN.

The Dissident three-year-old, a $215,000 yearling, was gelded following his debut run at Canterbury on August 7.

“He did a fair bit wrong in his first start but seems to have come back a much better horse this time in,” Ritchie said.

“The owners have a smart horse on their hands.”

Orr said Duneagle still had plenty to learn.

“Once I got in behind the horse he switched off and was perfect, but early on he was a bit keen.

“He finished off well.”

Duneagle ($15) beat the Les Bridge trained Lady Legend ($13), with another Waller runner, Space Is Deep ($12) third.


Stable favourite Carluca ($5.50) put a smile on the face of trainer Jarrod Austin, defying a previous ordinary first up record to win the JIM BEAM CG&E BENCHMARK 64 over 1350m.

The eight-year-old gelding proved too strong for his opposition, holding out the fast finishing runners-up, to win by a short half head,

“He’s a stable favourite and it’s great to see him win today, particularly first up,” Austin said.

“He’s been working well, and his trial was good. He’s never showed us much first up, but he did today.

“He’s a horse that looks after himself in track work but he’s tough. His class showed through today.”

Austin said he would likely find a metropolitan race for Carluca.

“He’ll go back to town now, where he belongs. It’s a great way to start the new year.”

Ridden by apprentice Tom Sherry, Carluca brought up his eighth career win from 54 starts.

He beat the Craig Carmody trained Buzz ($31), with Salsa Man ($4.80) from the Perry stable, third.


Mitchell Bell believes Bushido could be headed for a higher grade after making it back to back wins with his victory in 1100m HIT 101.3 FAMILY RACE DAY JANUARY 26 CLASS 1.

The three-year-old gelding, trained by Bjorn Baker, was having his third race start, after tasting success at Nowra on December 8 over the same distance.

Bell settled him just off the pace throughout, before taking him wide on straightening and finishing strongly to run down the leaders on the line.

He was happy with the performance of The Factor gelding.

“He’s come from a maiden at Nowra back to provincial grade, so it’s a good result,” Bell said.

“He felt good going through the line and is improving. He feels like a potential 1400m horse, so they have a few options.”

Bushido ($6), beat the Gwenda Markwell trained Philanthropist ($21), with Mandirigma ($5) from the Lees stable, third. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Wayne Seelin

Saturday looms as a big day for Wayne Seelin with the Wyong based trainer saddling up more than half his stable at two venues.

His consistent galloper Cliff’s Choice and maiden Doin’ Shots will be racing on their home track, while veteran Isorich and speedy mare Invincible Kiss line up at the Kensington meeting.

 “It will be a busy day and be great to see them all run well,” Seelin said.

“We have been enjoying a nice little patch at the moment with a few winners, so it would be good if that can continue.

“I’m training about seven horses at present and happy with that number. I do them all myself so don’t want to get much bigger and I’ve got a good bunch of owners at the moment.”

Seelin believes Cliff’s Choice, coming off a fifth at Wyong last start, should run well over his ideal distance.

He lines up from barrier seven in the 1350m BM64, with Winona Costin in the saddle.

“He jarred up a bit last run and I would have liked to have seen a bit of rain but unfortunately that didn’t happen. We’ve been doing a bit with him but he’s going alright now.

“His best distance is anywhere between 1200m to 1400m and he goes well around Wyong.

“I’d probably like to see him just off the speed, in the first five or six, that’s when he seems to finish off well.”

Seelin said if Cliff’s Choice continued to improve, he would consider a metropolitan start.

“They all get their turn if they deserve it, but they have to earn the right to go. “He’s doing everything right at this stage.”

Seelin isn’t as upbeat about the chances of his maiden runner Doin’ Shots, a Shooting To Win gelding who has been unplaced in eight starts.

“He’s a big horse and it’s taking a bit to get him fit,” he said. “He’s been struggling in his races, but he is bred to stay.

“He’s over the 1600m on Saturday and I’ll continue stepping him up but if he doesn’t show us something, he might have a limited future.”

At Kensington, Seelin considers both his runners’ chances.

“Isorich has drawn the outside gate again but I’m not too worried. He will push forward and be a chance.

“The other little one is flying at the minute and with no weight and barrier one, she will be a sneaky chance too.”

Wyong’s Summer Festival Of Racing, continues with a seven race meeting, getting underway at 12.59pm.


 Race 1 – 12.59pm: WWW.TAB.COM.AU 4YO & UP MAIDEN (1200m): 1  CANZONET, 2 Monstrosity, 3 Lake Marion, 4 Supra Marnium.

Race 2 – 1.34pm: HIT 101.3 FAMILY RACE DAY JANUARY 26 CLASS 1 (1100m): 1 MANDIRIGMA, 2 Deepfield’s Raine, 3 Bushido, 4 Belle Of Clonmel.

Race 3 – 2.09pm: CENTRAL COAST BUILDING MAIDEN (1600m): 1MCGRAW, 2 Sayl, 3 Completed, 4 Keen On Gold.

Race 4 – 2.44pm: RYAN’S METAL ROOFING MAIDEN (1350m): 1 CHANTING, 2 First Crown, 3 California August, 4 Lady Legend.

Race 5 – 3.16pm: CANADIAN CLUB CLASS 2 (1600m): 1 FAIRY ME HOME, 2 Highjacker, 3 Judicator, 4 Mowanjum.

Race 6 – 3.56pm: MECURE KOOINDAH WATERS GOLF & SPA RESORT F&M BENCHMARK 64 (1350m): 1 MONEY HEIST, 2 Oxford Bella, 3 Rebukes, 4 Nines Enough.

Race 7 – 4.36pm: JIM BEAM CG&E BENCHMARK 64 (1350m):  1TRENGGANU, 2 Quick Finance, 3 The Raid, 4 Salsa Man.



While Kristen Buchanan took a well-earned break her consistent galloper Jazzland returned to form to win the SKY RACING SUMMER PROVINCIAL SERIES – HEAT 5 WYONG in impressive fashion.

And it wasn’t the stable’s only win with new stable addition Ocean Go proving too strong in the 1350m Class 2, bringing up a double for the Buchanan/Parr combination.

It was courtesy of a great front-running ride by Josh Parr, that saw Jazzland speed away from his rivals on straightening to win the Provincial Series heat by almost two lengths, eased down on the line.

He will now contest the $150,000 series final at Gosford on December 27.

“He certainly appreciates the mile, especially here, “Parr said after the win.

“We went a step further with him last start up to 2000m and it was just too much for him. It was more like him today.

“The team here have done a really good job with him and he will appreciate the same distance in the final at Gosford.”

Buchanan is currently enjoying a cruise with family and left her in-form stable in the hands of foreman Shaun Harvey.

“He loves it at Wyong and he and Josh are a good combination,” he said.

“He just went too quick at Kembla last start over the 2000m. He can run 11’s here for the sectionals over 1600m and keep going but not over 2000m.

“We took him back to the trials and gave him a bit of a break and he was nice and fresh coming here today.

“We will see how he pulls up, but I’d say he will head for the final.”

Harvey said Jazzland, who has now had 13 starts for six wins and four minor placings, was a stable favourite.

“He’s just a home bred horse but has put together a great record and we all love him,” he said.

It was a Wyong quinella in the race, with the Waugh trained Calabasas ($8.50) second, over Mr Garcia ($3.20) from the Lees stable.


Kiwi import Ocean Go was having his second start for the stable in the TWIN LAKES AIR & SOLAR CLASS 2, after finishing second at Newcastle on December 1.

The four-year-old had five starts in New Zealand before his Hong Kong based owners moved him to Buchanan’s stable.

Parr had to chase hard in the final stages of the race after Quick Finance kicked two lengths clear in the straight.

“I had to ride him really hard into the corner and considering it is only his second start going this direction, he ran really well,” he said.

“I was forced to go a bit earlier than I would have liked, so he had a strong gallop all the way.”

Foreman Shaun Harvey said it was a great win.

“He really hit the line strong after a tough race. He was good first up, and we knew he would run well here today. He really appreciated the extra distance and he will be more suited getting out to a mile or further. He’s a great horse to have in the stable.”

Ocean Go ($3) beat Quick Finance, trained by Kevin Moses, by half a length, with the $1.95 favourite Brunetta, almost two lengths behind in third.


Wayne Seelin was full of praise for the ride by Hugh Bowman after the champion jockey partnered his mare Invincible Kiss ($3.20) to a home track victory in the 1000m WYONG EQUINE CLINIC BENCHMARK 64.

The win brought up a race to race double for Bowman.

It was the second win from 16 starts for Invincible Kiss, who was narrowly beaten at Wyong last start over the same distance.

 “I had my heart in my mouth for a little while down the straight when he was held up for a run and then I remembered I had Hugh on,” Seelin said. “It was a great ride.

“He had to ask her permission when the gap opened but when he did bang. She’s been going really good for a while and she loves Wyong.

“She is tough and very consistent. I think it was just a matter of her growing up but she’s racing so well now.”

Bowman said the five-year-old mare had travelled well throughout.

“I needed a bit of room and was able to get that and she let down really well,” he said. “She travelled really sweet in the run. It is nice riding horses when they want to win like that.”

Invincible Kiss beat the $2.20 race favourite North, from the Snowden stable, with Thermosa ($7) trained by Rodney Robb, third.


Rejinsky could chase black type at his next start after an impressive debut win in the FIGTREE GROUP MAIDEN over 1000m.

The well-bred Redoute’s Choice colt came from the rear of the field, with jockey Aaron Bullock patiently waiting for a split on the turn.

When the gap opened the three-year-old sped away to win by almost half a length.

Relieved trainer Grant Allard said the plan had been to ride him close but when he was tardy at the start Bullock had opted to settle him back in the field.

“His two trials were good coming into this, but I genuinely don’t think he’s a 1000m horse, he’s probably best around 1400m or a mile but we had to kick off somewhere. He was a touch slow getting away, was held up in traffic, found the gap and hit the line pretty good,” Allard said.

“I think he is a pretty good horse in the making, a nice horse with a nice future.

“We’ve ticked one boss ticked here so we’ll see how he eats up and look at possibly starting him in the Gosford Guineas next Friday.”

Bullock said he knew Rejinsky was a nice horse leading into the race.

“I knew he had ability off his trials, but he is a pretty nice horse,” he said. “They burnt me early, so I just took the sit and I always had plenty of horse. I was a bit worried coming to the corner whether I’d get out, but the outside horse just dropped off and he attacked the line like a nice horse. He’s definitely going to win more races.”

Rejinsky, who was having his first run for the Allard stable, was sent out $2.90 favourite on the back of his two recent trial wins.
He beat the Widdup trained Vulpine ($5), with Enamour ($5) from the O’Shea stable, third.


Joe Pride believes he has a progressive horse on his hands following Sea Echo’s win in the 1350m DNR AIRCONDITIONING & ELECTRICAL 4YO & UP MAIDEN.

The Sepoy gelding justified his short-priced favouritism with an effortless three and three-quarter length win with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.

Bowman was able to dictate terms, with a great front-running ride, drawing away in the straight.

“He is a really nice horse and I’m not surprised to see him win like that,” Pride said.

“He’s a progressive gelding who will make a nice city class horse, so being a gelding he will just work his way through the grades.

“He is a very laid by type and they ran a good time today, while still looking like he had something under the bonnet.”

Bowman agreed the four-year-old could have a future.

“He felt good today. He was a short-priced favourite so the result but somewhat expected but it was nice to see him do it,” Bowman said.

“I feel he is a progressive type. In the start he was very sluggish in the way he did things but when the gates opened, he was very relaxed. 

“I think he is certainly up to mid-week class.”

Bringing up his debut win at start four, Sea Echo started $1.18 favourite having been runner up at Wyong in his two previous starts. He beat Disco Mo ($5.50) trained by Anthony Cummings, with Tony Ball’s Senatorial ($15), third.


A drop back in distance proved to be the key to Bernson bringing up his second race win in the SM CONCRETE CONSTRUCTIONS KYLE’S RUN CLASS 1 over a mile.

The Bernardini gelding, had been placed second over the 1900m and 1800m at his past two starts, with trainer John Thompson deciding to run him over 1600m.

The move paid off and jockey Rachel King was able to dictate terms up front, with Bernson ($1.80fav) looking the winner a long way from home. He drew away in the final stages and was able to record a two-length victory over the Cymbalic ($4.20) from the Mark Newnham stable, with Mowanjum ($14), trained by Gary Portelli third.

“He seems to be racing a lot more genuinely now,” King said following the race. “It was a relatively slow pace and that suited him, and he won well again today.”

Stable representative Danielle Podlewski said the four-year-old had had a very consistent preparation.

“He’s been racing well. His last couple of starts he’s run into a few good ones, but it was nice to see him get a win today,” she said.

“We find he runs the best over the mile and that showed today. He’s a horse that likes to be kept fresh and happy, so if we can keep him to the mile, we will do that.

“I think he’s probably done enough this preparation and will probably head out for a spell.”


A double to Rachel King after the John O’Shea trained Lillemor ($3.60) proved too strong for her rivals in the ROKBUILT CLASS 1 over 1200m.

The well-bred filly, made it two wins from two starts, having scored on debut at Gosford on December 4.

She had no difficulty making the step up to class 1 and King believes the three-year-old has a bright future.

“It will be exciting to see just how far she can go,” she said.

“She does everything right and is really straightforward. I wouldn’t mind taking the sit on her as well because she does get a little bit lost out front, she sort of pricks her ears when she gets there, but she drew a bad gate today so we had to try and eliminate that by going forward.

“She’s very genuine, honest and has a really good attitude. She’s still not 100 percent there yet and is still learning, so it will be exciting to see how she goes when she learns how to really be a racehorse.”

Tom Charlton, stable foreman, said the filly does everything right in her races and is “easy going.”

“She’s an improving filly and it was a great ride by Rachel,” he said. “She’s very progressive and an easy, uncomplicated filly.”

Lillemor beat Belle Of Clonmel ($11) from the Jason Coyle stable by a length and a half, with Trengganu ($4.80) trained by Brad Widdup, third.



Kristen Buchanan concedes Jazzland is a “work in progress” but is hoping the gelding can return to winning form in Thursday’s $50,000 heat of the Provincial Series at Wyong.

The race, to be run over 1600m, has attracted a strong field of nine, with the top three progressing to the $150,000 series final at Gosford on December 27.

“It looks an ideal race for him, and I think he really needs to drop back to the 1600m at this stage,” Buchanan said.

“Last start he went too hard in the lead over the 2000m. He was pressured with another horse to lead, and if you look at his sectional times, he’s run pretty much 11’s throughout and then stopped.

“The horse has taken me a bit by surprise this time around. He is a lot fresher, is a lot more switched on and has a lot more toe. That’s why we’ve freshened him up and brought him back to the mile and I won’t step him up to the 2000m again until he indicates that’s what he needs.

“Last preparation he indicated he needed 2400m, so I’ve had to reassess.

“He’s a work in progress and is developing more and getting more switched on. I feel in hindsight I was a bit hasty to step him up to the 2000m when he didn’t really need to just yet.”

Buchanan said while Jazzland looks well suited in the race, the Kris Lees trained Mr Garcia would be hard to beat.

“The Class 5 conditions with the set weights means Kris Lees horse gets in in good order considering his benchmark, but it does look a nice race for Jazzland, that horse aside. We’d love to get into the final and have a crack at that as well.

“Josh (Parr) is riding him and knows him so well. He hasn’t missed a beat on him at Wyong.”

Jazzland has an unblemished record in his three starts on his home track, with Parr in the saddle for each win.

He will also partner Buchanan’s other runner, Ocean Go, in the 1350m Class 2.

The Ocean Park gelding has had one start for the stable, a second at Newcastle over 1200m on December 1, since transferring from New Zealand.

“He’s a really lovely horse, a beautiful animal and is showing a lot of promise,” Buchanan said.

“I was very pleased with him first up. He’s definitely a mile, 2000m horse in the long run, but he was very good over the 1200m at Newcastle and I think the step up to 1350m will be ideal for him.

“I’ve had a long association with the Hong Kong based owners and it was my luck they decided to send him my way. He will race very well.

“It’s been a good season so far and we have a lot of nice new horses coming through the stable, so it’s looking good.”

The first of seven races, at Wyong’s Christmas At The Races Day, gets underway at 1.50pm.


Race 1 – 1.50pm: SM CONCRETE CONSTRUCTIONS KYLE’S RUN CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 CYMBALIC, 2 Satirical Knight, 3 Mowanjum, 4 Bernson.

Race 2 – 2.25pm: DNR AIRCONDITIONING & ELECTRICAL 4YO & UP MAIDEN HANDICAP (1350m): 1 SEA ECHO, 2 Flying Mojo, 3 Lady Legend, 4 Disco Mo.

Race 3 – 3.05pm: WYONG EQUINE CLINIC BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1000m): 1 NORTH, 2 Invincible Kiss, 3 Happy Mo, 4 Thermosa.

Race 4 – 3.45pm: FIGTREE GROUP MAIDEN PLATE (1000m): 1 PIZZLY, 2 Miss Dior, 3 Shadow Colour, 4 Enamour.

Race 5 – 4.20pm: SKY RACING SUMMER PROVINCIAL SERIES – HEAT 5 WYONG (1600m): 1 CALABASAS, 2 Jazzland, 3 Mr Garcia, 4 Django Unreined.

Race 6 – 4.55pm: ROKBUILT CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1200m): 1 ABSOLUTE TRUST, 2 Lillemor, 3 Belle Of Clonmel, 4 Pace Stick.

Race 6 – 5.35pm: TWIN LAKES AIR AND SOLAR CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1350m): 1 BRUNETTA, 2 Ocean Go, 3 Quick Finance, 4 Flying Mojo.



Article – Frances O’Shea – Photos Steve Hart

It was back to back Wyong Magic Million 2YO Classic wins for the Waterhouse/Bott stable after Farnan handled a step up on class to take out the $200,000 feature race.


Gai Waterhouse has now claimed the race five times, the second with co-trainer Adrian Bott, after the pair took out the 2018 version with Unite And Conquer.

In a good training performance, Farnan was taken from a 2YO Handicap win at Canberra on November 17 to the Wyong race.

The $550,000 yearling purchase was sired by Not A Single Doubt, who won the first Wyong Magic Millions 2YO in 2003 and sired a subsequent winner, Karuta Queen in 2010.

Farnan was sent out $2.90 second favourite to the Mark Newnham trained Every Rose.

Jockey Tim Clark sat just off the leader after Farnan pinged the gates, hitting the front on straightening to win by a length.


“It’s really exciting,” Bott said after the race.

“He’s a quality individual and it was a big step up for him from a Canberra maiden to here today. We took a bit of time between his runs, but his great, professional attitude got him here today.

“He broke brilliantly today and settled well for Tim (Clark) throughout the run, moved up when he need to and showed a good turn of foot. All the good attributes that those good two-year-olds have, that’s what he has got, and it’s taken him a long way.

“We kept him nice and fresh between the two runs getting him today and it’s great to see him take the next step and exciting for him.

“He’s a lovely physical type and a nice strong individual.

“I think he is definitely open to more improvement off the back of that and he’s on the right path.”

Bott said he would see how the horse pulled up before deciding if they would run him again before the Gold Coast Classic.

Clark said it was his first ride on the colt and he was impressed by the way he won.

“He was really impressive. His attitude is great, and he seems unflappable which is a good attribute to have.

“He began well and got outside the leader no worries and we controlled the speed from there. He gave a nice kick and I felt the filly coming at him but he responded for me and was strong to the line.

“He’s done a really good job there, second start in a race and is progressing nicely.”


Every Rose ($2.35) was second, over the Snowden trained Remorseless ($13).


Mark Newnham didn’t go home empty handed with the Diamond Thunder taking out the $100,000 MAGIC MILLIONS WYONG 3YO & 4YO STAKES and Exceed The Stars winning the 1000m Class 1.

Both were ridden by Josh Parr giving his locally based fan squad plenty to cheer about.

Diamond Thunder ($2.10) proved his versatility to take out the $100,000 MAGIC MILLIONS WYONG 3YO & 4YO STAKES.


Parr had to change tactics after the Dawn Approach gelding dwelt at the start, opting to settle the three-year-old toward the rear before making his run on the turn.

Hugh Bowman appeared to have snatched victory, after switching Hightail to the fence in the final stages, but Diamond Thunder showed his class to grab a narrow half neck win.


It was fifth win from seven starts for the $135,000 yearling, the victory franking his favouritism for the $2m Magic Millions 3YO Guineas in January.

“What he did today he showed he will definitely be better once he gets to 1400m,” Newnham said.

“He came and had a look around Wyong on Saturday morning, I floated him up here for a gallop, and I think it’s been beneficial in him getting the result today.

“He was a bit awkward back in the field but gathered them up really well.

“He started a bit slow, which is unusual for him but he’s a really versatile horse anyway. He’s led in one, he sits back, he’s got a good will to win.

“Josh did the right thing and let him gather himself and balance and got the job done. 

“He will now go to the Vo Rogue at Eagle Farm on December 28 and then on to the Gold Coast for the three-year-old Magic Millions.”

Parr joked he had to revert to ‘plan c’ after the slow start.

“I’m not sure what happened today. For the first time in his career he just dwelt at the start and was a bit hesitant over the first fifty metres of the race,” he said.

“There is nothing like versatility and that comes from both horse and jockey and I had to deploy plan c.


“He’s got an unbelievable will to win and is notching up a really good record. The stable and myself have had a lot of time for him for a very long time and it’s been interesting and intriguing to see the process of getting him here today.”

The Snowden stable filled the minor placings with Hightail ($6.50) runner-up, ahead of Leviathan ($3.60).


It was another good ride by Parr that secured victory for Exceed The Stars ($3.70) who brought up his second win from seven starts in the WYONG COAL CLASS 1.

“It was a very good win,” Newnham said. “Once he got into the right spot you could see he was always going to be hard to beat because the two leaders had gone at it pretty tough together.

“He had the sitting shot at them but still had to put them away and it was good to see him do that.

“He trialled behind another horse of mine that won at Rosehill yesterday, so the trial form was good. He’s been a horse that has been a bit inconsistent but today, as soon as he jumped well and travelled strongly you know he would be in the finish.

“It was really good.”

Wyong trainers Wayne Seelin, Invincible Kiss ($8.50) and Kristen Buchanan, Designated ($13), were second and third.


In other results on the day, Irish jockey Oisin Orr brought up his first Australian winner on the Chris Waller trained Kimpembe ($3.70) in the GREAT NORTHERN BREWING CO METRO & PROV MAIDEN over 1600m.

Orr, a dual Irish apprenticeship winner, was having his eighth ride since moving to Australia in late November.

“It’s great to get a winner, especially for Mr Waller, and hopefully there will be many more to come,” he said.

Orr, settled the Savabeel gelding toward the rear of the small field, circling on the turn before hitting the front in the final stages to score a length and a quarter win.

It was the fourth career start for Kimpembe, a $240,000 Magic Millions yearling.

Stable representative Adam Ritchie said Orr had given the three-year-old the “perfect Wyong ride.”

“He had him in an ideal position, that suited the horse well and he was able to go on with it,” Ritchie said.

McGraw ($3.60), trained by Anthony Cummings, fought on for second, with race favourite Dinado ($3.20fav), third.


Veteran Wyong trainer Stan Thomas bagged another home-track win just two weeks after his 83rd birthday.

Ondo Pasa ($9) upset some of her more favoured rivals to take out the MERCURE KOOINDAH WATERS GOLF & SPA RESORT BENCHMARK 64 over 1600m.

It was the second Wyong win for the Love Conquers All six-year-old in just over a month.

Mikayla Weir took a sit on the mare, settling her toward the rear. She took off just before the turn and was able to run down the Waller trained Fairy Me Home ($8.50) to win by a length.


“I’m not feeling 83 today,” Thomas laughed after the win.

“She’s a handy little mare and this little girl rides her so well. The horse loves Wyong and appreciated the extra distance today.”

Weir said Ondo Pasa, who she partnered in her last Wyong win, had been “crying out” for the extra distance.


“We thought she’d appreciate the extra ground and she certainly did,” Weir said.

“I was able to settle her toward the rear and she let down really well when we got into the clear running.

“It was a good win and Stan is doing a great job.”

Disgraceful ($21) trained by Dale Riley, was third.


The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Miss Sure Shot justified her race favouritism with a strong win in the MAINSTREAM TAXATION & ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES MAIDEN over 1350m.

The $150,000 Shooting To Win yearling, reaped the benefits of a well rated, front running ride by Kerrin McEvoy to come away with her debut win at start four.

Peter Snowden said he believed the filly would improve further when she could take a sit.

“Kerrin rode her perfectly for the race today but I don’t think that’s the way to ride her going forward,” he said.

“But you’ve got to get the job done and that was the only way to do it today and he’s rated her perfectly.

“I’ve always liked her and I’m hoping she can go on with it.

“I think you’ll see a better filly if she can get back and you’ll see her turn of foot.”

Miss Sure Foot ($1.55) beat Sea Echo ($4) from the Pride stable by a length, with the Kristen Buchanan trained My Desire ($21), third.


A slow tempo and step up in distance were the perfect combination for the Clare Cunningham trained Lady Highly to take out the 2100m MAGIC MILLIONS GOLD COAST IN JANUARY CLASS 1 & MAIDEN.

The High Chapparal mare looked set for a 2100m race when she finished fourth over 1900m at Canterbury on November 20.

Cunningham said it was a great ride by Jason Collett to secure victory for Lady Highly ($3.20) at her fourth race start.

“She’s definitely bred to stay but she’s a bit quirky,” Cunningham said.

“So it’s been about a bit of education for her and this was her fourth run this preparation and it was the perfect ride by Jason for her to get the job done.”

Cunningham said she would see how the horse pulled up before deciding on her next run.

“We will probably just work her through the grades. She still has a little bit of learning to go but we’ve found her mark over a trip.

“Now she’s doing everything right hopefully we will her along through the grades.”

Collett settled Lady Highly mid-field throughout, and when the split came in the straight, she showed a good turn of foot in the final stages to win by two lengths.

The $2.60 race favourite Brilliant Mind, trained by Gary Moore was second, with Savvy Valentino ($3.80) from the Bjorn Baker stable third.




Mark Newnham saddles up the favourites in the two feature races at Wyong’s Magic Millions raceday on Thursday and is confident both will be hard to beat.

Every Rose has been favourite for the $2m Gold Coast Classic since her impressive debut win in the Gimcrack Stakes in October and continued to please her trainer with an eye-catching trial win at Randwick on November 26.

Not surprisingly she is expected to take out the $200,000 Wyong 2YO Classic with the in-form Rachel King in the saddle, having drawn nicely in barrier three. 

Mark Newnham and Rachel King

Stablemate Diamond Thunder will contest the $100,000 MM 3YO and 4YO Stakes and be ridden by Josh Parr.

“The Magic Millions has been their specific targets with Wyong part of the journey,” Newnham said.

“Josh rode them both work on Saturday. They had a good blow out and I was very happy with them.”

He said Every Rose, a $240,000 yearling, had shown good versatility in her race and trials.

“It is good to have drawn a nice barrier with her but she’s shown even in her first trial before she raced that she can take a sit and finish off if need be,” he said.

“When she needed to in the Gimcrack, she led them up. She’s versatile enough to make do with whatever the conditions are.”

Newnham said Every Rose, is raced by an all-female Darby Racing syndicate.

They will be eligible for the $250,000 Women’s Bonus if the filly is one of the first four raced by a female syndicate, to cross the line. 

“It is exciting for them being a ladies syndicate with the Gold Coast becoming a race within a race. It will be good if it comes off.

“She looks an ideal Magic Millions type and being a ladies syndicate horse there is some incentive there as well.

“There will be a fair few of them coming to Wyong so you might need to top up the champagne.”

Newnham said while Rachel King will ride the filly at Wyong, Josh Parr has been booked for the Gold Coast.

“She doesn’t have enough weight for Josh in this race, but he will take over on the Gold Coast.”

Craig Williams returns to Wyong to partner the Maher/Eustace trained Rathlin in the race, the Fastnet Rock colt was narrowly beaten in the MM Classic at Ballarat on November 23.

Newnham’s Diamond Thunder also looks ideally drawn in four, in a field of eight which includes in-form Godolphin filly Exhilerates.

“Diamond Thunder is just a really tough, consistent horse with good ability,” he said.

“I just needed to give him that one run in the spring to keep him ticking over for this otherwise he would have been out too long. He was able to win that race and this summer was really his target with Thursday, then up to Queensland in a couple of weeks’ time where he will start on the 28th and then the Magic Millions 3YO.”

Josh Parr also partners Newnham’s other runner Exceed The Stars, resuming in the 1000m Class 1.

“He is first up over the 1000m. He might just need one run and he’s going quite well,” he said.

The first of seven races gets underway at 1.50pm.


RACE 1 – 1.50pm: MAINSTREAM TAXATION & ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES MAIDEN (1350m): 1 MISS SURE SHOT, 2 Sea Echo, 3 My Desire, 4 Completed.

RACE 2 – 2.25pm: GREAT NORTHERN BREWING CO METRO & PROV MAIDEN (1600m): 1 DIAMONDS AND RUST, 2 Petrus, 3 Submission, 4 McGraw.

RACE 3 – 3.05pm: MAGIC MILLIONS GOLD COAST IN JANUARY CLASS 1 & MAIDEN (2100m): 1 LADY HIGHLY, 2 Savvy Valentino, 3 Little Arnie, 4 Into The Oblivion.

RACE 4 – 3.40pm: MAGIC MILLIONS WYONG 3YO & 4YO STAKES (1200m): 1 DIAMOND THUNDER, 2 Exhilerates, 3 Leviathan, 4 Think Free.

RACE 5 – 4.15pm: WYONG COAL CLASS 1 (1000m): 1 AUXIN, 2 Exceed The Stars, 3 Designated. 4 Lolliepop.

RACE 6 – 4.50pm: MAGIC MILLIONS WYONG 2YO CLASSIC (1100m): 1 EVERY ROSE, 2 Strike, 3 Farnan, 4 Kavak.

RACE 7 – 5.25pm: MECURE KOOINDAH WATERS GOLF & SPA RESORT BM64 (1600m): 1 FAIRY ME HOME, 2 Evard, 3 Disgraceful, 4 Terroir.



Gai Waterhouse has claimed the most Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic titles since the inception of the race in 2003.

With two entries among the 16 nominations for this year’s feature, the now Waterhouse/Bott stable will be hoping to make it back to back wins following Unite And Conquer’s victory last year.

The stable has nominated last start Canberra winner Farnan and Vancouver filly, Found Our Thrill, who was fourth on debut at Kembla last month.

Mark Newnham’s filly Every Rose looks the standout, resuming from her dominant win in the Gimcrack Stakes, with an impressive five length barrier trial win at Randwick on November 26.

The Maher/Eustace stable has six two-year-olds nominated including last start Morphetville winner Unstoppable.

Chris Munce, who won several Wyong feature races as a jockey, has nominated Kavak, a $145,000 yearling purchase. The colt is an Eagle Farm winner and was runner up on the Gold Coast in late November.

The Newnham stable could also hold the key to the $100,000 Magic Millions 3YO & 4YO Stakes with exciting three-year-old Diamond Thunder.

The Dawn Approach gelding has put together an impressive resume with four wins, including two Listed races, and a placing from six starts.

Australian Bloodstock’s Think Free, from the Lees stable, is among the 21 nominations, the So You Think mare having won five of her ten starts, with two placings.

Acceptances for Thursday’s meeting close at 9am on Tuesday.



Peter Snowden is planning a two-pronged attack at next Thursday’s Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

The stable will saddle up Eagle Farm winner Strike and Written Tycoon colt Remorseless in the $200,000 feature over 1100m.

Strike, a $150,000 yearling, was an impressive winner on debut at Eagle Farm on October 12.

(Strike – Photo Australian Associated Press)

He was then spelled and looks to have returned in good order taking out his trial at Randwick on December 2.

Remorseless, a $350,000 yearling, also debuted at Eagle Farm in October, finishing sixth over the 1000m.

“We sent them both to Brisbane early last preparation and Strike was able to get a win on the board,” Snowden said.

“They both went out and came back and the same time and trialled well the other day.

“The Wyong race looks ideal at this stage and hopefully they can qualify for the Gold Coast.”

Snowden last tasted success in the Wyong MM 2YO in 2015 with Capitalist, also by Written Tycoon, who went on to win both the Gold Coast feature and the Golden Slipper the following year.

Hightail, who finished third in last year’s Gold Coast MM 2YO Classic and Zoustar gelding Leviathan, will both contest the $100,000 Wyong MM 3YO & 4YO Stakes for the Snowden stable.

Nominations for the meeting close at 11am tomorrow.,NSW,Wyong

Commute wins Hudson Homes Wyong Town Plate in style

Commute wins Hudson Homes Wyong Town Plate in style 23

The locals got the right result when Wyong trainer Tracey Bartley’s impressive mare Commute led her rivals a merry dance leading all the way to win Thursday’s $50,000 feature Hudson Homes Wyong Town Plate.

Jockey Rachel King rode the hot favourite Commute like she was the best horse in the race and she never looked like being run down.

Commute wins Hudson Homes Wyong Town Plate in style 24

Thursday’s win was her third success from just 13 career starts. The big girl has generally raced very consistently and her record could easily have been better.  Thanks to patient handling by Team Bartley the 4yo mare promises to keep improving.

Tracey Bartley suggested after the win that Commute was likely to target the rich $500,000 Polytrack Provincial Championship in March which looks to be an ideal race for the mare.

Commute wins Hudson Homes Wyong Town Plate in style 25