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  • Provincial Racing NSW

THIS MARE IS DEFINITELY NO “PUPPET”




IT’S no illusion. She’s the real thing!

The cleverly-named Tintookie (the only foal of the Dylan Thomas mare Lady Marionette, and her dam was Glove Puppet), a $30,000 yearling buy, won her second Royal Randwick race on Saturday to lift her earnings to nearly $290,000.

And her Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup will now give some thought to adding the four-year-old mare to his team for autumn’s Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships.

Tintookie ($5.50), who scored on debut on a heavy surface as a late two-year-old at Goulburn in July, 2022, again showed her versatility by resuming on a good track and landing the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1000m).

Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Tintookie relished getting to the outside in the straight and finished best to defeat $2.90 favorite Our Kobison, who was also resuming.

From only 13 starts, she has now won four races and been placed five times.

Tintookie was Widdup’s sole purchase at the 2021 Inglis Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association sale, being attracted to her because she was “good on type”.

“She has kept improving every preparation,” Widdup said from the Gold Coast, where he is attending the Magic Millions racing and yearling sales carnival.

“I was confident she would run well, and she did the job in good style.

“I’m not sure about the Provincial-Midway Championships as we have never tried her beyond 1250m (runner-up to Brudenell at Canterbury in February last year).

“But I will have a good think about it. Perhaps the 1200m qualifier at Gosford on March 16 could be a possibility.”




The first two placegetters in the Gosford heat will qualify for the 1400m Final (worth a record $1m this year) to be run at Royal Randwick on April 13 during The Championships.

Widdup already has Phearson and Short Shorts being prepared for the series, and intends to split the pair in the early qualifiers, which begin at Kembla Grange on February 29.

Irrespective of whether Tintookie contests the Provincial Midway Championships, Widdup is understandably chuffed every time he wins a race with her.

Not only did Tintookie’s breeder Ralph Tierney stay in the mare after selling her, but Widdup syndicated her amongst an excellent group, which includes former schoolmates and workmates.

“I got Dean O’Brien and Jeremy Norris from my home town of Wagga and some friends I used to work with when I was at Godolphin to go in the mare,” he said.

“Dean and I were born three days apart, so we go back a long way.

“It is always terrific to win a race for a great group of owners.”




Widdup initially hoped to run Tintookie in the $200,000 Inglis Challenge (1000m) for two-year-olds at the Scone Cup carnival in 2022.

But things didn’t work out and her debut was delayed for a couple of months until she made a winning start at Goulburn.

Tintookie was the leading Hawkesbury trainer’s 22nd winner of the season, and the 76th for the Hawkesbury training base.

Story John Curtis, January 7, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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