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  • Provincial Racing NSW


IT’S no longer a rumour!

Lightly-raced three-year-old filly Bush Telegraph has already declared her ability, and lines up again on her home track at Hawkesbury tomorrow seeking to make it two wins from as many starts.

A debut winner there in a Midway 3YO Maiden Handicap (1300m) on February 21 at $11, the well-named daughter of Press Statement won’t be at such generous odds this time in the XXXX Gold Midway Class 1 Handicap over the same distance. this morning had Bush Telegraph at $4.60, with Kembla Grange trainer Ben Smith’s last start The Valley runner-up Wolves (Sam Clipperton) heading the market at $3.20.

Jason Collett, successful on Bush Telegraph at her first start, has the mount again.

Bred by Dubbo’s Colleen Dwyer from her now retired Giant’s Causeway mare Hides, Bush Telegraph is following in the hoofbeats of relations Knight and Zahdi, who have also been successful for Hawkesbury trainers Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard.

Knight (also now retired) was the sole local winner at Hawkesbury’s Saturday stand-alone meeting two years ago, and Zahdi broke through at home last November in a Provincial Maiden (1100m) and resumed when narrowly beaten at good odds in a Class 1 Handicap (1200m) at Kembla Grange on March 5.

Jason Attard has described Bush Telegraph as “the female version of Knight” and says she was always going to need time to get to the races.

“She is a big filly, and we didn’t push her,” he said.

“We have looked after her, and hopefully she will continue to look after us by showing the ability we know she has.

“We’ve been really happy with how Bush Telegraph has trained on since her Maiden win, and this looks a suitable race stepping up to a Class 1, again restricted to eligible Midway horses.”

Team Attard takes three horses to the meeting, keen not only to maintain the Hawkesbury training base’s momentum (35 winners since February 1 including 16 so far this month), but also their own record at home.

Four of their six winners this season have been at Hawkesbury, and they open the day’s proceedings with odds-on favorite Irish Anthem in the Hawkesbury Cup Day 4YO & Up Maiden Plate (1500m).

Rachel King, back from a successful Japanese sojourn, rides both Irish Anthem and stablemate Invaida Prince (Sky Racing 3YO Maiden Handicap (1300m).

Irish Anthem, placed at five of his nine starts, has an important gear change.

“We are taking winkers off him because he has raced a bit too keenly at his last two starts,” Jason Attard explained.

“Hopefully that will enable him to be ridden a bit colder.

“It doesn’t look the strongest race, so he gets his chance to break through.”

Rachel King rode Irish Anthem at his only previous start at Hawkesbury when a close third to Dubai Empress in a Midway Maiden (1300m) on December 10, and runner-up Wymark has subsequently put three wins on the bounce; the latest an authoritative Saturday Rosehill Gardens Benchmark 78 Handicap (1900m) performance on March 16.

Whilst Team Attard’s third representative Invaida Prince is at very long odds ($81), Jason Attard says he is capable of running a “cheeky race” stepping up to a slightly longer trip following two 1100m assignments since joining their team.

Hawkesbury apprentice Zac Wadick has been booked for Country Championships Finalist Lockdown Gamble in tomorrow’s Richmond Club Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).

Mudgee trainer David Smith has taken advantage of Wadick’s 3kg claim to lessen the gelding’s 62kg handicap.

Lockdown Gamble clinched a start in the $1m Country Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 by winning his home track’s Central Districts Racing Association Qualifier (1400m) on February 25.

With a benchmark 46 winners so far this season, Wadick needs only more to post a career century.

. The rail is out 2m from the 1100m to 450m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder of the track.

Course manager Kyle Cassim just after 8am today posted a “Soft 6” rating for the eight-race card, which begins at 1.15pm, with a penetrometer reading of 5.52.

. Current Hawkesbury premiership standings are:


C. Waller 9

P. & P. Snowden 7

B. Widdup 6

G. Ryan/S. Alexiou 6

G. Waterhouse/A. Bott 5

Team Attard 4

K. Waugh 4

J. Pride 4

B. Baker 4

R. & L. Price 4


T. Schiller 10

K. McEvoy 8

J. Collett 7

Z. Lloyd 6

A. Hyeronimus 5

M. Bell 5


Z. Lloyd 6

Z. Wadick 3

D. Gibbons 2

A. Roper 2

Story John Curtis, March 18, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos


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