Mitch Kearney and Josh Henderson are “driving” home success together. Workmates at Prestige Racehorse Transport, the pair at Cessnock on Monday notched their second success in less than a month with improving young stayer Hendo’s Magic.
A $1.55 favourite, the rising four-year-old outstayed runner-up Typhoon Charlie ($4.40) in the Class 1/Maiden Plate (2125m) after being headed on straightening. Hendo’s Magic broke through at Newcastle on June 23 in a Maiden Plate (1870m) before finishing a game second to hotpot Diamond Star Halo at the same track last Tuesday in a 2360m Class 1/Maiden Plate.
Kearney, who prepares Hendo’s Magic in partnership with his wife Desiree, credits the stable’s earlier success with Eerised (his wife’s name spelt backwards) as the driving force behind Henderson getting involved with racehorse ownership.
“Josh started driving at Prestige about six months after I began working there,” Kearney explained. “When we were having some luck with Eerised, Josh was keen to race a horse and was able to lease Hendo’s Magic from the horse’s breeder Wayne Burley and race the gelding with him.”
Kearney said the son of Magic Albert was both a slow learner and maturer: “I’ve always had a bit of time for him and he is making into a handy stayer for us,” he said.
“Desiree and I didn’t have any qualms about backing him up after racing at Newcastle last Tuesday because he is such a good doer. But we’ll give him a little freshen up now because he has had those quick runs and then keep him going whilst the tracks are on the soft side, although Cessnock was firm today.”
Kearney took out his training licence in 2012 and won his first race with Silk Spun on his home track in July 2014. Now he is going to train the eight-year-old Hard Spun mare’s first foal, a colt by Nicconi.
“I’m looking forward to getting him going,” he said. “He will race as Heza Gentleman.”
The Kearneys took out their joint licence earlier this year and had immediate success at Bathurst on February 11 with their first starter, Final Trick. The mare had also won (on protest) for Mitch at the same Legends meeting two years earlier.