It was a 'blinkin' good result for Hawkesbury trainer Karen Outtrim, who produced a $201 winner on her home track on Thursday.
Having only his second start, Dragon’s Shadow led from soon after the start of the Clarendon Tavern Maiden Handicap (1500m) at Hawkesbury’s season opener - and was never headed. With apprentice Brock Ryan urging him on in the straight, he held out all challenges and beat $26 chance Social Element and $3.10 favorite Sacred Edge.
The odds aside, the significance of the victory was that Outtrim beat a couple of Sydney’s big guns, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott (Social Element) and Chris Waller (Sacred Edge).
Dragon’s Shadow made his debut at Hawkesbury a couple of weeks ago when he finished last of eight runners – beaten nearly 12 lengths – to Addicted in a 1300m Maiden Plate on July 16.
Obviously delighted though admitting she didn’t expect a winning performance, Outtrim attributed her three-year-old’s victory to the addition of blinkers.
“They made the difference,” she said. “Our trackwork rider said he would run a good race.”
Dragon’s Shadow is a son of Pendragon, whose only two wins from a limited career were in Group 3 events. He won the 2005 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill and Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield, and also finished fourth in Benicio’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington that year.
Outtrim trains a small team at Hawkesbury, and her previous winner was Anne’s Gift at Gosford on March 31.
Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Scott Singleton, having just completed the most successful season of his career, began the new racing year in winning style at Thursday’s meeting.
He won the opening event, the Hawkesbury Race Club Motel Benchmark 70 Handicap (1000m) with topweight Adjective (Christian Reith). Starting at $6.50 and carrying 61.5kg topweight, the six-year-old posted the fifth win of his career, prompting his trainer to consider an interstate trip.
“Adjective has had a lot of problems, and been forced to carry big weights in a lot of his races,” Singleton said. “He is not up to Saturday class in town and realistically probably needs to go to Brisbane. I think he could win a Saturday race there if we can find a suitable one in the coming weeks.”
Reith has been aboard Adjective in three of his five wins, including his sole metropolitan success at Canterbury in October, 2015.
Hawkesbury apprentice Chelsea Ings went north for one ride at the Coffs Harbour Cup meeting – and the trip was worth it. Ings, who also has completed by far her most successful season, answered a call from Tuncurry trainer Terry Evans to ride the consistent Arise Augustus ($12), who finished strongly upon resumption to land the Blinkin Missit (800m).
She has had only two rides on the seven-year-old, and is unbeaten on him. They teamed, also at Coffs Harbour, to win a 1200m Sprint in March last year.