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  • Provincial Racing NSW


TEN winners from his last 24 runners for a strike rate of just over 41 per cent!

Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup continued his great run of late with a double at Kembla Grange yesterday, scoring with Ausbred Nunya and Owari – both at good odds.

Yet it was only a few months ago that he had 15 or 16 empty boxes.

“I wasn’t panicking because we cleaned out a number of horses who weren’t shaping up well enough,” Widdup said today.

“I’m not doing anything different with my training routine; it’s just that we’ve got a good bunch of horses, and there’s been some decent rides which have certainly helped.

“The good runs don’t last, but it’s a real credit to all our staff that things are going really well at present, and it gives everyone a boost.”

Widdup’s victories with Ausbred Nunya ($20) and Owari ($8) took his season’s tally to 41 so far, and the overall number of winners for the Hawkesbury training base to 117 (15 already this month).

Both wins with a pair of homebreds underlined his training skills in different ways.

Ausbred Nunya, relishing the addition of blinkers, was having only her third start when she landed the Provincial Maiden Plate (1400m), whilst Owari had not started since last October.

Ridden by Alysha Collett, Ausbred Nunya came from well back to overpower fellow Hawkesbury representative, Mitch and Desiree Kearney’s Share The Joy ($13), and Asteride ($3.80).

The filly’s owner Chris Lawlor bred her by mating the former New Zealand mare Barinka (who won eight races including a Group 1, and produced 2020 Inglis Millennium winner Prime Star, by Starspangledbanner) with Dundeel.

“Ausbred Nunya didn’t race as a two-year-old and had one start last October as an early three-year-old before a break, and then there was a late riding change on resumption at Goulburn earlier in the month when our apprentice Zac Wadick had transport difficulties,” Widdup said.

“Going on her breeding and the way she races, I feel she will get further.”

Owari was rested after winning a 1600m Class 1 Handicap at Kembla Grange on October 12, and trialled twice in preparation for his resumption.

With Tyler Schiller aboard, he showed great heart under 60kg to defeat $3.50 favorite Movader.

“Owari did a good job carrying the big weight after having such a good break, and Tyler rode him a couple of times last campaign and won on him at Kembla, so he knew the horse well,” Widdup said.

“I’m sure he will take improvement from yesterday’s run, and looks set for a nice campaign.”

Kembla Grange trainers Theresa Bateup and Rob and Luke Price kept the local flag flying with respective victories.

Bateup clinched her 13th success of the season when Foxtrot Bravo (Jess Taylor) took the Kembla Grange Stayers Cup (2400m) at $21, and the Price boys won the closer, the Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1600m) with Extreme Freedom (Tommy Berry) at $7.

Extreme Freedom’s triumph followed stablemate Our Gold Hope’s excellent second at $26 in the $250,000 Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m).

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

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