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  • Provincial Racing NSW


Updated: Jul 14, 2023

KEMBLA Grange trainer Brett Lazzarini is adamant Wild Chap has paid dearly for a Group 3 breakthrough in last year’s Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Broadmeadow.

The six-year-old gelding hasn’t won in eight starts since beating only five rivals in the Newcastle Jockey Club feature in mid-September, and could have been at Grafton today chasing another black type success in the Listed Cup (2350m).

Instead, he will line up at Royal Randwick on Saturday in a Benchmark 88 Handicap (1800m), and his trainer is hoping he has finally found the right race to hoist him back into winning form.

“Wild Chap was rated a Benchmark 79 horse when he won the Cameron on the limit (54kg), and beat a sub-standard field,” Lazzarini said today.

“All but one of the six horses were on the limit that day, and the runner-up Luncies is a middle-distance performer and was resuming.

“I couldn’t believe Wild Chap was penalised 16 benchmark points to 95, and it has made it very difficult with him since.”

Lazzarini accepted with the gelding for the Grafton Cup, but pulled the pin when he drew the outside of 16 acceptors.

“I wasn’t confident Wild Chap could comfortably manage the 2350m anyway, and he would have to be used up twice, so it made the decision easy when he drew poorly to focus on Randwick,” he said.

Wild Chap this campaign has been to Brisbane for a resumption 1350m Quality and subsequently contested races such as the Hawkesbury (1600m), Wagga (2000m), and Scone Cups (1600m), and hasn’t been disgraced in all four although he hasn’t been placed.

He has finished fourth at his last two runs at Rosehill Gardens, in a Benchmark 94 Handicap (1800m) on June 3 and McKell Cup (2000m) a fortnight later, behind subsequent Caloundra and Grafton Cups winner Zoumon.

“Wild Chap’s benchmark rating has come down to 87, and I wanted to get a heavyweight senior jockey for Saturday’s race, and, and Brett Prebble fitted the bill,” Lazzarini said.

“I know Wild Chap has had seven runs this preparation, and he’s built like a greyhound.

“But he often seems to take a while to find his rhythm. He won at his sixth start in a campaign at Canterbury two years ago, and the Cameron last year was also his sixth start in that preparation.”

As Wild Chap hasn’t raced since mid-June, Lazzarini gave him a 1200m Open trial at Warwick Farm last Friday to keep him up to the mark, and he defeated seven rivals.

. Provincial trainers were to the fore at Gosford today, winning four of the eight races.

Newcastle’s Nathan Doyle produced a promising two-year-old in Boston Rocks (Ash Morgan), who easily won the Provincial Maiden Handicap (1000m) as a $1.70 favorite at only his second start, and first since joining his Broadmeadow stable.

Kembla Grange father and son Rob and Luke Price landed the Class 1 Handicap (1600m) with the consistent Satness ($3.40). It was only his second win, but it was certainly deserved as he has been placed 14 times.

Tom Sherry rode Satness, but was later suspended by RacingNSW stewards on a careless riding charge which arose from that race.

Gosford’s Adam Duggan, successful at Royal Randwick last Saturday with Diamond Diesel, again teamed with star Newcastle apprentice Dylan Gibbons to snare the Maiden Handicap with former Hong Kong gelding A Silvery Warrior ($6.50).

The six-year-old not only was making his debut for Duggan, but also was having his first start in more than two years.

Hawkesbury’s James Ponsonby, who recently relocated from Orange, won the Maiden Plate (1600m) with Sonny Fella ($8).

*Words John Curtis, July 13, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos*

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