Hawkesbury trainers are on a roll – and Brooke Somers joined the winning queue at Goulburn on Monday. Somers’s victory with former Melbourne mare Baroque was the 29th winner saddled by 15 local trainers since the beginning of the new year.
Brad Widdup started the run, scoring with Witches at Royal Randwick on New Year’s Day, and has been followed by Garry White, Richard Nutman, Scott Singleton, Peter Green, Garry Frazer, Craig Weeding, Terry Croft, Mike Van Gestel, Mitchell & Desiree Kearney, Matthew Vella, Wanda Ings, Wade Slinkard and Karen Outtrim.
Somers, who began training early in the 2016-17 season, clinched the sixth win of her career – and produced a splendid training performance in the process.
Baroque ($6), a maiden from 10 starts beforehand, tackled a Benchmark 55 Handicap (2100m) and proved the strongest stayer. Ridden by Jay Ford, she beat $3.60 favorite From Pentridge and $41 outsider Bramwell.
Baroque, a four-year-old mare by Cape Blanco from the Stravinsky mare Opus Four, began her career in Melbourne with Anthony Freedman and didn’t manage a placing in six starts in Victoria and South Australia, although she did contest two black type races in Adelaide in 2016. Subsequently sold, she joined Somers’s Hawkesbury team and today was having her fifth start for her new trainer.
Baroque began her current campaign at Wyong on January 6 when 11th in an unsuitable 1350m Maiden and put the writing on the wall when fourth to Chilli Beauty (who won again last Saturday) in a 2000m Maiden Plate at Kembla Grange on January 31. She did extremely well following that run and Somers was confident her mare would be hard to beat at Goulburn even though she was rising in class.
Somers, a former show jumps rider, gained a breakthrough victory at Wyong on October 16, 2016 with her 11th starter. A few weeks later, she won her first city race with $51 shot I Am Magnificent at Warwick Farm, with Josh Parr aboard.
Somers won another two races that season with Repentant (at Nowra and Scone), and her previous winner before Monday was Star Bolt at the Dubbo Gold Cup Showcase meeting last September. Now retired Paul King has ridden four of her six winners.