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  • Provincial Racing NSW

A RANDWICK REUNION OF SORTS




NEWCASTLE trainer David Atkins didn’t hesitate to call Danny Beasley’s manager when he was looking for a rider for Promitto at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

It will be a reunion of sorts when the internationally successful multiple Group 1 winning jockey, who now also holds a trainer’s licence in his home town of Wagga, partners the gelding in the Vale Alan “Jock” Gollogly Benchmark 78 Handicap (1800m), with 61kg.

“I’ll stay at home; I’ve got enough work to do at the stables,” Atkins said.

“But it’s great to have Danny ride for me again. It’s been a long time, probably 25 years or so.

“He rode quite a few winners, including doubles, for me toward the end of his apprenticeship in Sydney with Grahame Begg, and would come and ride in barrier trials at Newcastle as well.

“Danny is not only a top-class jockey, but also a gentleman. A really nice guy.”

Whilst Atkins won’t be on course when Beasley rides Promitto, he will pass on an important piece of advice about the four-year-old gelding, who has been out of the winning list since scoring at his first two starts as a two-year-old.

“He needs to get him into the open in the straight, because he likes a bit of room,” Atkins said.

“Promitto doesn’t like being crowded, and that’s what happened last time when he ran sixth to Zoe’s Promise in a similar race over 1600m at Randwick a fortnight ago.

“That was after his excellent second to Kris Lees’ subsequent runaway Mudgee Cup winner Tavi Time at The Hunter metropolitan meeting at Newcastle last month.

“Promitto got to the outside that day in the straight and chased strongly, but conceded the winner 6kg.”




Atkins won’t mind in the least if the forecast rain continues over the next couple of days.

He vividly recalls Promitto winning the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 26 last year; a fortnight after also scoring on debut in a 2YO Maiden (900m) at home when he overcame the outside barrier in a field of 10.

“The track was soft when he won at Newcastle, but it was a Heavy 10 at Randwick and he won easily,” Atkins said.

Atkins, who trains Promitto for Newcastle businessman Matt Chidgey, put blinkers on the Divine Prophet gelding before he ran second at Newcastle on November 18, and has kept them on him.

The rail is out varying distances for Saturday’s meeting; 8m from the 1600m to the winning post and 6m for the remainder of the circuit.

As a result, only 12 horses can start in the race named in memory of “Jock” Gollogly, who passed away earlier this week at 72 years of age after a brave battle with cancer.




Fellow Newcastle trainers Kris Lees, for whom Gollogly clocked his horses, and Mark Minervini also have runners.

Lees starts Rogue Bear, with stable apprentice Ben Osmond claiming 3kg to lessen last month’s Taree Cup runner-up’s weight to 57.5kg, and Minervini has New Republic (55kg), to be ridden by Tyler Schiller.

Story John Curtis, December 21, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos

 

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