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  • Provincial Racing NSW


WINNING his first ever race at home will do Jack Pilkington nicely.

One of Hawkesbury’s newer trainers, Pilkington has chosen his home track tomorrow over a city assignment today for his two-year-old Alabama State.

Jason Collett will ride the Alabama Express colt in the TAB We’re On CG&E Maiden Handicap (1100m).

“I thought he would have been hard to beat on the Kensington track today, but he drew the outside in a field of nine (with the rail out 3m), so we’ll wait for Thursday,” Pilkington said.

An $80,000 purchase at last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale (Book 2) at the Gold Coast, Alabama State is the only horse in racing trim Pilkington has in work.

He has a couple of yearlings he purchased at the same sale earlier this year.

Alabama State has raced four times so far and his trainer, who only took out his licence last year, says he should already have had a win on the board.

“He was very unlucky when fifth (beaten only a half-length) in a Kembla Grange Maiden (1000m) earlier this month,” Pilkington said.

RacingNSW stewards reported the colt was held up rounding the home turn and again in the straight when he clipped heels and blundered near the 350m.

Alabama State then had difficulty securing clear running until the 150m, and finished well.

Connections lodged a protest – which was turned down – against second placegetter Helldancer, alleging interference over the concluding stages.

Alabama State then ran fourth to the very promising youngster Roselyn’s Star in a 1000m Maiden against his own age on the Kensington track on March 13.

Roselyn’s Star brilliant burst of speed left his rivals chasing in despair, but Pilkington’s colt didn’t shirk his task and kept coming to the post.

Alabama State races in the colours of well-known and successful owner Peter Horwitz (who raced Golden Slipper winner Sir Dapper, Juggler and Future Shock to name a few), and Pilkington has his mother to thank for that.

“Peter and his friend George Macdonald were visiting the family’s art gallery in London, and met Mum, who told them her son had just started training in Australia,” Pilkington explained.

“They are both in Alabama State, and so is Jamie Piggott, the son of the late legendary English jockey Lester Piggott.

“Jamie and I became good friends in the UK, and he was out here and with me when we jointly bought Alabama State at last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale.

“I’ve been lucky to have a sound and solid colt to help get my name out there.

“Hopefully, we can get a breakthrough with him on Thursday, but he is going for a rest irrespective of the result.”

Whilst Pilkington is understandably keen to get Alabama State’s maiden out of the way, so too is Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan with Chevron.

The Spieth three-year-old lines up in the Sky Racing Provincial Maiden Handicap (1300m), and Koby Jennings, who rides Group 1 placegetter Strait Acer for Hawkesbury trainer Ed Cummings in Saturday’s Provincial-Midway Championships Qualifier (1350m) at Wyong, has the mount.

Chevron, runner-up twice as a two-year-old (including the Inglis Challenge at Scone last May, has tackled feature races in his brief career.

He ran in both the Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm last winter, and resumed when 14th to Estriella in the $1m Inglis Sprint (1200m) along the Flemington straight on March 2.

This is an appreciable drop back in class, and no surprise that he is a $2.40 pre-post favorite with

Chevron is one of three Buchanan representatives at the meeting, being joined by Bethsheba (Ash Morgan) in the HRC Motel F&M Maiden Handicap (1100m), and Broadway Bouncer (Anna Roper) in the Lander Toyota Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m).

Kermadec three-year-old Broadway Bouncer has raced three times at the track for a win in a Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1300m) last August and second to Well Timed in a Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) on March 9 at his latest run.

That form gained further merit when Well Timed stepped up in class and ran third in last Saturday’s Provincial-Midway Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Kembla Grange.

. The rail is out 2m from the 1150m to the 400m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder of the circuit. Racecourse manager Kyle Cassim on Wednesday morning posted a “Good 4” rating, with a penetrometer reading of 5.03.

Current standings for the 2023-24 Hawkesbury season are:


C. Waller 10

P. & P. Snowden 7

B. Widdup 6

G. Ryan/S. Alexiou 6

G. Waterhouse/A. Bott 5


T. Schiller 10

K. McEvoy 8

J. Collett 7

Zac Lloyd (a) 6

A. Hyeronimus 5

M. Bell 5

T. Berry 5


Zac Lloyd 6

Zac Wadick 3

Anna Roper 3

Dylan Gibbons 2

Story John Curtis, March 27, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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