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  • Provincial Racing NSW


BRAD Widdup is eyeing Cup races in the next couple of weeks with two of his runners who missed out in the Provincial-Midway Championships Final.

The leading Hawkesbury trainer has his home track Gold Cup (1600m) in mind for Ausbred Flirt, and possibly the Tamworth Cup (1400m) for stablemate Short Shorts.

The $250,000 Group 3 Richmond Club Hawkesbury Cup will be run on May 4 at the annual Saturday stand-alone meeting, and the $200,000 Tamworth Cup at Friday’s Showcase fixture.

Both Cups carry eligibility for The Big Dance (1600m) at Randwick in November.

Ausbred Flirt and Short Shorts ran sixth and 13th respectively in last Saturday’s $1m PMC Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick.

“Ausbred Flirt ran well,” Widdup said. “She had a good run but struck trouble when another runner ran out and impeded her just as she was winding up in the straight.

“Short Shorts lost her chance at the start and then received some interference at the 1300m.”

Widdup plans to nominate Short Shorts (pictured)

for the Tamworth feature hoping for a good track, on which she displays her best form, and also is looking at two races at his home track meeting; the Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown (1300m) for fillies and mares and Benchmark 88 Handicap (1400m).

Ruby Flyer was Widdup’s third PMC Final representative, and he ran eighth (beaten little more than three lengths).

He will be nominated for a Benchmark 94 Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Widdup notched his 47th winner of the season at yesterday’s Orange Cup meeting when Akaka Falls ($5) landed the Cup Day Showcase Sprint (1010m).

It was the Headwater six-year-old’s sixth career success – and fourth since joining Widdup’s team.

Fresh is best for Akaka Falls, who is now unbeaten at two runs this preparation.

He took a Provincial Benchmark 68 Handicap (900m) at Newcastle on March 2 when on resumption.

Widdup’s apprentice Zac Wadick has partnered Akaka Falls in both recent wins, and earned praise from his master for yesterday’s performance.

“When Procrastinator came out of the race, I mentioned to Zac that there was no pace,” he explained.

“Zac rode Akaka Falls well out in front, and got away from the inside section in the straight.

“It was definitely an advantage to have someone on the horse who knows him well.”

Akaka Falls’ success followed another Widdup “win” earlier in the day at the Canterbury trial session.

His talented filly Confess Our Dreams won a 3YO Fillies heat  over 900m, ridden by Tommy Berry.

The lightly-raced Shalaa filly won her first three starts before going up in grade and finishing eighth in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on March 9.

She pulled up with heat stress, and had a week off before resuming work.

“The Listed Denise’s Joy Stakes (1100m) at the Scone carnival next month looks a suitable race for her against her own age and sex,” Widdup said.

Story John Curtis, April 20, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos


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