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  • Provincial Racing NSW


HUSBAND and wife trainers Phil and Tara Vigouroux called Big Shooter’s breakthrough victory at home at Hawkesbury on Tuesday a “team effort”.

Team Vigouroux took over the gelding’s preparation only last week when his original trainer and part-owner Jason Clisby decided to take a break and travel around Australia.

Unfortunately, Clisby was unable to be on course to watch Big Shooter ($7.50) score in the XXXX Gold Midway 4YO & Up Maiden Handicap (1300m) as he was undergoing a minor operation in hospital before embarking on his trip on Thursday.

“We’re certainly not taking the credit,” Tara Vigouroux said this evening. “Jason has put all the hard work into the horse, and we’ve just kept him ticking over.

“It was a terrific result to win the race for a good friend.

“Big Shooter is no stranger to our stables as Jason has transferred him to us a couple of times before to be pre-trained.”

Big Shooter’s rider Grant Buckley gave the Shooting To Win four-year-old, an $8000 purchase as a 2021 Inglis Classic yearling, the run of the race and then took full advantage of a clear inside run in the straight to hit the front.

Big Shooter was challenged by fellow Hawkesbury trainer Marc Chevalier’s Criminal Art ($13) in the closing stages, but held her out to win by nearly a length.

Whilst Big Shooter shed his maiden status at his ninth start, it was four-year-old mare Criminal Art’s sixth minor placing, and surely her turn is just around the corner.

Sydney’s champion apprentice Zac Lloyd became Hawkesbury’s 2023-24 premiership pacesetter with a double at the meeting.

His victories on Allapercanto ($2.80) for Team Hawkes in the Pioneer Services Class 1 Handicap (1500m) and $2.10 favorite Heaven Bound for Joe Pride in the Lander Toyota Class 1/Maiden Plate (1800m) took him to 12.5 wins, with two and a half months left before season’ end.

Tyler Schiller, with 11 wins, was runner-up no less than three times at today’s meeting – all of them on Hawkesbury-trained horses, including one at Lloyd’s expense.

He rode trainer John O’Shea’s Ana Carolina ($17), who was beaten by Lloyd’s Heaven Bound, and also finished second on Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard’s debutante Cryptonic ($4) and Brad Widdup’s Party Doll ($4.20 favorite).

Chris Waller increased his trainers’ premiership lead to three over Team Snowden when hotpot Quintillion ($1.75) broke through for Lee Magorrian in the Pink Finss Charity 4YO & Up Maiden Plate (1500m).

Hawkesbury husband and wife trainers Mitch and Desiree Kearney almost pulled off a $101 upset when Dark Glitter, who also has recently joined their team, was narrowly beaten in the HRC Motel 4YO & Up Maiden Plate (1100m).

. Kembla Grange trainer Ross McConville and apprentice Angus Villiers combined to land the Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1100m) with Sawrey ($4.40).

Newcastle jockey Ash Morgan won the 3YO Maiden Handicap (1100m) with $3.50 favorite Setombe for trainer James Cummings.

Story John Curtis, May 15, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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