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NOTHING CASUAL ABOUT UZZIAH’S RANDWICK PERFORMANCE




SCOTT Aspery describes Uzziah as a “very casual” horse, but there was something specific about his Royal Randwick victory yesterday.

In spite of Uzziah’s double figure odds, the Newcastle hobby trainer, who works as a courier driver, was confident beforehand that his gelding would be hard to beat at his first attempt at 1600m in the Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap.

Ridden by apprentice Molly Bourke, the five-year-old clinched his fifth career success, and maiden victory at headquarters – the same venue where Aspery (who has now prepared 40 winners) landed the Group 3 JHB Carr Stakes (1400m) with another double figure chance, Estonian Princess ($17), in April, 2014.

That was a superb training performance as Estonian Princess had raced over 2000m only a fortnight earlier at the same track when seventh to Arabian Gold in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes.




However, subsequently finding it tough going, Aspery gave training full-time away for a while and relocated to Newcastle about six years ago, and decided to get involved in the industry again, training a couple of horses as a hobby.

He took a line through stablemate Annulus (who ran sixth at $26 in the same race yesterday and should have been closer, being held up for clear running from the 400m until after the 100m) to boost his confidence about Uzziah’s prospects of ringing up two Midway wins (the first was over 1400m at Rosehill Gardens last year).

“Uzziah is a four to five lengths better horse than Annulus, who was beaten just over three and a half lengths by yesterday’s topweight Patrika Mist (who made the running before finishing 10th) a fortnight ago at Rosehill Gardens,” he explained.

“The 1600m was the query at Uzziah’s first try, but I knew he would be hard to beat if he managed it.

“I wanted to get a 3kg claimer to lessen his 58.5kg, and Molly has been riding well, and got the job done.”

Aspery paid a combined $8000 for Uzziah ($5000) and Annulus ($3000) at the 2020 Adelaide Magic Millions yearling sale, and the pair have won nine races between them and collected nearly $380,000 in prizemoney and bonuses.

“Uzziah is a very casual horse,” Aspery said. “He only does what he has to, and has to be made to give his best.”




A five-year-old gelded son of Outreach from the now deceased 2013 Newcastle Maiden (1400m) winner Heavensentme (by Holy Roman Emperor), Uzziah has raced only 18 times and is to be given a short spell.

“Uzziah has knee issues and has to be managed carefully,” Aspery said.

“I will give him a month off, and Annulus can also have a break.

“But I have an unraced five-year-old mare (Jocund), who is about to go into training.”

. Whilst Aspery was the sole provincial winner at Randwick, Wyong’s Kim Waugh and Newcastle’s Nathan Doyle were both successful at Broadmeadow.

Waugh clinched a double with Community ($7) and The Himalayas ($9) – both Keagan Latham rides – and Doyle scored with $5.50 chance Dunaloce (Koby Jennings).

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ decision to send Kinloch ($4.80) north paid off when he made it two wins from as many starts this campaign, ripping home to overhaul $3.10 favorite Essonne in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (14500m) at the Brisbane metropolitan meeting.

Kinloch, the 2022 Provincial-Midway Championships victor, has now won seven races and earned just over $840,000.

 Story John Curtis, January 28, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

 

 

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