Hawkesbury trainers Garry White and Brad Widdup are on a roll – and so were punters there on Tuesday. White and Widdup each had success as punters hammered bookmakers; every favorite on the eight-event card winning.
White scored with Military Academy ($1.30) in the TAB Stand-alone Saturday April 28 Maiden Handicap (1100m), and Widdup won the Polytrack Hawkesbury Stayers Prelude Benchmark 79 Handicap (2000m) with Lovani ($2.45). Oria ($1.60), Prime Candidate ($2), Phoenix Charm ($2.05), Invictus Salute ($2.30), Youngstar ($1.90) and Iggy The Moocher ($2.25) made it a bleak afternoon for those fielding on the meeting.
Military Academy, a Snitzel three-year-old with looks to match his pedigree, broke through for his first victory at his seventh start – and there are more to come.
He was White’s 10th winner since mid-December; the experienced Hawkesbury horseman enjoying his best season since 2012-13.
His successful run began with Dunatun on his home track on December 17 and included his first treble in five and a half years (also at Hawkesbury on January 24) and the $65,000 Orange Showcase Cup last Friday with Letter To Juliette.
Military Academy was left with only three rivals when Trades Star was a late withdrawal at the barrier, and jockey Corey Brown left nothing to chance. He took the colt straight to the front, and thereafter the result was never in doubt.
Military Academy comfortably beat Daydream Explorer ($5) and Darajilla ($9.50), his trainer understandably pleased to see him shed his maiden status: “He’s got a lot of ability, and hopefully that might do his confidence good,” White said.
“He is from a family that had bone soreness early and has been a late maturer. Military Academy is a lot better this time in work, and will be better off over further ground.”
Widdup notched his 42nd winner this season and 47th in his first 12 months of training when former Melbourne mare Lovani returned to the winning list. Ridden by Tye Angland, Lovani was having her fourth start since joining Widdup’s team and has gradually stepped up in distance. The fifth success of her career came at the expense of Equipped ($5.50) and Blanco Cara ($18).
Widdup made it two in a row at the provincials, also scoring with former Queenslander Legadema at Wyong last Thursday.
Sydney Cup-winning rider Blake Shinn was the punters’ pal, notching a treble on Prime Candidate, Youngstar and Iggy The Moocher (the former and latter prepared by Bjorn Baker).