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  • Provincial Racing NSW


BRAD Widdup cannot believe his current luck – or more precisely lack of it – with barrier draws.

His two runners, Jedibeel and Sneaky Paige, have both drawn the outside in their respective races at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

But the leading Hawkesbury trainer says he has to run the pair; Jedibeel in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1100m), and Sneaky Paige in the Benchmark 88 Handicap (1200m).

Jedibeel drew the outside in a field of nine when he won a Benchmark 88 Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury on June 10; his second victory from three starts this campaign.

But he has since missed out twice on chasing another success; the first time when he drew poorly at Randwick on June 22 (the meeting was washed out in any case), and then at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday when he drew the extreme outside (24) in a capacity field of 18 plus six emergencies.

“Jedibeel is in great order, and we have to run him this weekend,” Widdup said on Thursday morning.

“I seem to be drawing ordinary barriers on a weekly basis, but I can’t hold him back any longer.

“It was a flip of the coin as to which race we decided to run him in.

“I spoke with a few people, including his owner, and the fact that the Benchmark 78 is 1100m and we could claim 3kg with our apprentice Zac Wadick was the turning point.

“There’s probably still a bit of a query about Jedibeel at 1200m.”

Wadick, who transferred from Glen Milligan at Taree to Widdup at the end of last year, is enjoying clearly the best of three full seasons of riding with 60 winners out of a career tally of 113.

“I was going to keep Zac back from Saturday meetings in the city until the new season begins next month, but trainers such as Paul Perry and Joe Pride have been supporting him, and were keen for him to take Randwick bookings,” Widdup said.

“His 3kg claim in town is certainly an advantage.”

Sneaky Paige has returned from Queensland where she failed first-up in the Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic (1200m) at Ipswich on June 22.

“She is a lovely mare and works like nothing I’ve had before, but isn’t taking that to the races,” Widdup said.

“This will probably be her last preparation before she is retired to stud.”

Wadick, who has ridden three city winners, has six mounts on the 10-race Randwick program.

As well as Widdup’s pair, he rides Nosey Parker for Perry in the Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m), Cool Jakey for Pride in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m), Bjorn Ironside for Wauchope’s Colt Prosser in the TAB Highway (1200m), and leading Kembla Grange trainers Rob and Luke Price booked him for Our Bellagio Miss against her own sex in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1100m).

Story John Curtis, July 4, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos



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