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  • Provincial Racing NSW


Updated: Dec 27, 2023

ZAC Wadick couldn’t have chosen a better time to win his first race for Brad Widdup, on the Beaumont track at Newcastle today.

The apprentice will officially join the stable of Hawkesbury’s leading trainer tomorrow as he strives to make his mark firstly on the provincial scene, and then later in town.

Wadick landed the 3YO Maiden Plate (1200m) on Nicconi filly Pins And Needles ($7.50), finishing strongly to overhaul stablemate and favorite Lizzie’s Gem ($3.50).

The young jockey joins the Widdup team in career best form, having already ridden 32 winners in the first five months of the season after racking up 40 last season.

Understandably, Widdup, whose only previous apprentice was Qin Yong several years ago, is looking forward to welcoming Wadick to his Hawkesbury operation.

“Zac is riding well, and I will give him plenty of support,” he said.

“We will focus on the provincials for the rest of the season, and then look to get him to town on a regular basis from next August.

“He has already had a few rides for us from his Taree base, and I’m sure he will be a real asset to our stable.”

Widdup clinched his 20th winner of the season, and wasn’t surprised Pins and Needles was able to pinch victory from her stablemate on the post.

“Her first two starts in July and August were okay, finishing fifth at Newcastle and fourth at Goulburn in July and August,” he said.

“She just needed to develop a bit during the break, and she did.

“I didn’t expect her to trial as well as she did at home on December 12 (second over 800m) with blinkers on.

 “They stayed on her for her resumption today, and no doubt helped.”

Pins And Needles cost $55,000 at last year’s Inglis Classic yearling sale, and Brad was delighted to win for the filly’s Tricolours syndicate.

“I’ve got another young horse for Tricolours as well, so great to get some success,” he said.

Runner-up Lizzie’s Gem, a daughter of Deep Field, who cost much more ($475,000) at last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale, is heading back there for a crack at the $250,000 MM Maiden Plate (1400m) on the opening day of the Millions carnival on January 6.

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees got a “kick:” out of winning the Vale Alan “Jock” Gollogly Benchmark 64 Handicap (1350m) on the Beaumont track with Little Beginnings ($5).

The Shamus Award four-year-old, at his 14th start, brilliantly shouldered his 62.5kg topweight under Aaron Bullock to post his fourth success.

After finishing a close second with Luncies ($11) in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Royal Randwick, Lees won the closer with promising filly Chilli Filly ($7), who is now two from three starts, and also ran third with Infancy ($15).

Fellow Newcastle trainer Nathan Doyle continued his excellent run, landing the Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1150m) on the Beaumont track with Deep Romance ($5).

Lees’ apprentice Ben Osmond’s 3kg claim proved decisive as the mare narrowly defeated David Atkins’ Leave Me Some ($19) in a tight finish.

. Another Newcastle trainer Rod Ollerton was to the fore at Quirindi, carrying off the first two races.

Ollerton scored with Currency Queen ($3) and Little Bit Yours ($3.20). Apprentice Rebecca Bronett Prag rode both winners.

Story John Curtis, December 26, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos

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