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  • Provincial Racing NSW


HAWKESBURY chief executive James Heddo is “absolutely thrilled” with record nominations for his club’s 19thSaturday metropolitan meeting.

Now all he needs is the weather gods to smile to ensure this year’s edition is the best yet.

A total of 245 entries was received for the 10-race program (one more than last year when the meeting was held on April 22), and includes excellent interstate interest in the four black type features (three Group 3s and a Listed event).

Only the 2YO Clarendon Stakes, 1400m – which currently has 13 entries – has been extended until 11am tomorrow.

“I couldn’t be happier with the magnificent number of nominations we have received, and the quality of those entries,” Heddo said on Monday.

“Especially our four major events, the $250,000 Group 3 Richmond Club Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m), $250,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Group Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m), $250,000 Pioneer Services Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown (1300m), and $200,000 Listed XXXX Hawkesbury Gold Rush (1100m).

“Twenty-nine horses have been entered for the Cup, 32 for the Guineas, 30 for the Crown, and 24 for the Gold Rush.

“The rail is in the TRUE position, and the track is currently rated a Soft 5.

“If we can hopefully avoid some of the rain forecast for later this week, I’m confident we will present an ideal surface for a great day’s racing.

“Last year’s Cup winner Kirwan’s Lane will lead out the Cup field, having recently been retired and retrained for a new career in polo.”

Hawkesbury’s outstanding prizemoney – more than $1.8m over the 10 races – has attracted interest from a number of leading Melbourne stables.

Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr have nominated recent Royal Randwick Group 2 Sapphire Stakes winner Wee Nessy for the Gold Rush, and Matt Laurie has entered last start Flemington winner Midtown Boss.

The Price/Kent team also has Party For One in the Crown, and Robrick in the Guineas.

Laurie has entered Hiyaam Proud, a debut Geelong winner on April 12 at his only start to date, for the Guineas, and other interstate trainers who have nominated include Ben, Will and JD Hayes (Here To Shock in the Cup), Gavin Bedggood (Just Folk, Cup), Nick Ryan (Munhamek, Cup), Material Dreams and Wolfy (Guineas) and Material Dreams (Crown), Shane Nichols (Beour Bay, Crown), and Leon and Troy Corstens (Girl, Crown).

Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller won both last year’s Cup (New Mandate) and Crown (Princess Grace), and has four Cup entries (Bold Mac, El Bodegon, Madame Pommery and Welwal), and Madame Pommery in the Crown.

He has also entered Konasana, McHale and Snowman for the Guineas, which Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott won last year with the now retired Hawaii Five Oh, and have nominated Bases Loaded and Butch Cassidy for this year’s renewal.

The scene will be set on Friday with the inaugural Panthers Hawkesbury Race Club Sports Lunch & Calcutta to be held at Western Sydney Conference Centre, with over 400 seats already booked.

“We aim to make this weekend a spectacular sporting event for the Greater Western Sydney community, and look forward to welcoming everyone trackside on Saturday,” Heddo said.

Story John Curtis, April 29, 2024 - Pics supplied

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