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  • Provincial Racing NSW


Updated: Jan 21

THE nine of diamonds is supposedly the unluckiest card in the deck!

But that number was no curse to provincial trainers who played their trump cards and aced their rivals no less than nine times at four different TAB tracks today.

Newcastle trainers Kris Lees and Jason Deamer clinched doubles, whilst fellow Newcastle trainer Rod Ollerton, Hawkesbury trainers Brad Widdup, Blake Ryan and Matt Vella, and Gosford’s Angela Davies joined in to make it a “lucky 9”.

There were Rosehill Gardens and Tuncurry trebles, a Kembla Grange double and an Eagle Farm winner.

Lees scored with Yankee Hussel ($9), who clinched a hat-trick following recent victories at Gosford and Canterbury, when successful in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (2400m) at Rosehill at her first attempt at the distance, defeating Widdup’s Fun Sunday ($11).

He later collected a double when Hellavadancer ($3.60 favorite) overcame a wide barrier to take the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm.

Both horses are raced by Australian Bloodstock syndicates.

Similarly, Deamer’s major supporter Dynamic Syndications race both his Tuncurry winners.

He took three horses to the mid North Coast track, and won with Awesome Tycoon ($2.40 favorite in the Maiden Handicap, 1400m) and Slush Fund ($3.60 in the Benchmark 50 Handicap, 1200m).

Ben Looker rode both Deamer winners.

Making it three for the day at Tuncurry, Ollerton won the opener, the 1000m Maiden Plate, with War Wings ($4.60), who broke through at her 18th start.

Widdup and Davies joined Lees in the winner’s stall at Rosehill.

The leading Hawkesbury trainer got Sneaky Paige ($19) back into the winning list for the first time under his banner after a skilful Kerrin McEvoy ride proved crucial in the Benchmark 88 Handicap (1200m).

Sneaky Paige held on gamely to narrowly defeat Newcastle trainer Mark Minervini’s Meritable ($14), the provincial pair leaving $1.30 hotpot Time To Boogie to bite the dust in third placing.

Davies produced the promising Our Kobison (pictured), a heavily backed $1.60 favorite, in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1100m) for his second start this campaign – and he didn’t disappoint.

The lightly-raced four-year-old made it four wins from only seven starts when he turned the tables on his recent Royal Randwick conqueror, Widdup’s consistent mare Tintookie ($5).

Hawkesbury pair Ryan and Vella won the first two races at the Kembla Grange meeting.

Ryan’s $1.80 favorite Santasia broke through at only her second start, in the Super Maiden Plate (1000m), romping away in the closing stages to score by four lengths.

Vella, who took a sabbatical from training for a couple of years to focus on his breaking-in and pre-training business, was back in the winning list when $1.35 favorite Battlefield made it just in time to take the 2 & 3YO Maiden Plate (1200m).

A $520,000 yearling purchase in Melbourne in 2022, the Deep Field three-year-old was switched to Vella for this preparation, and led home an all-provincial finish.

He defeated Kembla Grange pair, Rob and Luke Price’s Hellinda ($26), and Theresa Bateup’s Master Riley ($4.80).

Vella became the 20th Hawkesbury trainer to be successful this season, and Battlefield was his first winner since Never Second scored at Goulburn on August 9, 2021.

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


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