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  • Provincial Racing NSW


ONE good turn deserves another!

Gosford trainer Kylie Gavenlock will have her first ever runner in a $500,000 Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championship Final at Royal Randwick on Saturday – and it came about because she helped out fellow Sydney trainer Craig Carmody.

Gavenlock will saddle the talented four-year-old mare Audette (Andrew Adkins), who has won six of her nine starts and been out of a placing only once.

“I have been training for 40 years, and Craig rode a lot of winners for me earlier in my career,” Gavenlock, who will turn 59 next month, said.

“It was through Craig that I met Audette’s breeder Kim Harding.

“Craig was limited with the number of stables he had and asked me to help out educating some of Kim’s young horses, and she was happy with the job I did.

“One thing led to another and she started giving me the odd horse or two to train, and we had some luck.

“I picked out Audette from a video I had seen, and Kim gave her to me to train. She was unraced then of course, but there was something about her that I liked.”

Gavenlock didn’t rush Audette, a daughter of The Factor, and didn’t bother starting her as a two-year-old.

“We can’t afford precocious young horses to run in Golden Slippers, and want to ensure our horses have longevity by not pushing them early,” she said.

Gavenlock trialled Audette four times as a three-year-old (twice in August and September 2021 and then twice again in February last year) before kicking off her career at Muswellbrook not quite 13 months ago.

With Andrew Gibbons aboard, Audette came from well back to easily win a 1000m Maiden Plate at $17, and then proceeded to clinch a hat-trick, also winning on Newcastle’s Beaumont track on March 22 and again at Muswellbrook on April 18, this time as a $1.45 hotpot.

Gavenlock says Audette showed ability as soon as she started to work her along.

“Carlos was a trackwork rider for me at the time, and got off her one morning and said: ‘This is a machine’.”

Gavenlock is understandably effusive in her praise of Audette’s breeder, Sydney businesswoman Kim Harding, who was the first woman to be appointed to the Board of Racing NSW in 2008.

“Kim is a remarkable person, who does so much for so many people both in and out of racing,” she said. “She was instrumental in the BOBS scheme being introduced in NSW.

“Kim has horses with a number of trainers and is very loyal to them. If you do the right thing, you are with her for life.

“I’ve been very lucky to have good people around me at my stable, and terrific supporters such as Kim and Greg and Donna Kolivos (who won the 2012 Golden Slipper Stakes with Pierro).

“We have a property at Somersby where we can spell our own horses, and also those of Greg and Donna.”

Audette was a first-up second to joint Final favorite Kayobi in her home track Qualifier (1200m) on March 16 before winning a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1300m) at Warwick Farm last Wednesday on a “Heavy 8” track.

“I didn’t want to go to the Randwick 1400m second up, so stepping her up 100m last week looked ideal, and now it’s another 100m to the Final,” Gavenlock said.

In spite of Audette’s impressive record, she is surprisingly rated an $11 chance for the Final by market assessors.

None of which worries Gavenlock one little bit.

“Audette doesn’t know how to run a bad race; she doesn’t know to be beaten,” she said.

“I keep around 20 horses in work, and have had a couple of fourths in Qualifying races in previous years.

“It’s a big boost for our stable to have the chance to win a $500,000 race with our first Final runner.

“It will be an even bigger boost if Audette wins.”

Meanwhile, Kris Lees is yet to finalise riders for his five runners in the Final. He has won the race four times, and is chasing his third Final in a row, having scored with Cristal Breeze in 2021 and Kinloch last year.

Lees is likely to give his Press Statement filly Pier Pressure another Group 1 shot in Saturday week’s $600,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Having only her third start, Pier Pressure was the only “girl” in the field when she ran third at $151 in last Saturday’s Group 1 Sires (1400m) on the opening day of The Championships.

However, stablemate Almania is out of Saturday’s $2m Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).

“Unfortunately he has another little issue and has to go to the paddock,” Lees said this afternoon from the Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale.

Injuries kept the now seven-year-old off the scene for two years, but he made a successful comeback being placed twice from his first three starts this campaign before scoring over 1900m at Rosehill Gardens last month.

*Words John Curtis - Pic - Muswellbrook Race Club



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