One hugged the inside rail and the other never got close to it! But together they produced a double for Hawkesbury trainers on their home track on Monday and in the process emerged as a pair of promise.
Garry Frazer produced first starter Identic, carrying the Spright colours, for an impressive debut success and later Mitch Newman unearthed another three-year-old who was no less impressive at his first serious middle-distance attempt.
Identic ($3.60 favourite) led home a local domination of the Priestley’s Gourmet Delights Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m). Ridden by Corey Brown and carrying the famous colours of the White family, the I Am Invincible filly was too good for her rivals.
Brown never relinquished the inside running on her and she established a winning break on straightening before beating Star Bolt ($9.50) and Perfect Heritage ($6). In a race restricted to provincial and country trained horses, only Wyong’s Allan Kehoe took on the locals – to no avail.
The first seven horses home carried the Hawkesbury banner, and Frazer was understandably delighted to see his filly post an immediate success. Not before though he had some concerns when she got “fairly wound up” in the enclosure before going on to the track.
“She didn’t do that at the trials,” he said. As it turned out, there never were any real worries once Identic jumped from the barrier and Brown virtually controlled the race. Identic had underlined her ability by winning a 1000m barrier trial on her home track last month.
Unlike Identic, Casino Prince three-year-old Garbhan never saw the inside rail, being forced to race wide throughout in the Pacific West Foods Aust Benchmark 65 Handicap (2000m). His rider Josh Parr, showing his experience, didn’t panic and kept him comfortable and striding nicely.
Parr brought $10 chance Garbhan down the centre of the track on straightening and left his opposition with no excuses. Relishing the 2000m, he surged home to beat Forreel ($6) and $4.40 favourite Tumultuous.
This was only Garbhan’s seventh start, and he found this a much more suitable assignment than when 11th to Eusebio in the Canberra Guineas (1400m) eight days ago. The gelding won an 1100m Maiden on his home track on January 25 on wet ground and clearly has a bright future over ground going on today’s performance.
Parr’s success on Garbhan clinched him a double, having scored two races earlier on $3.40 favourite Lady Sansa. Last season’s Hawkesbury premiership winner Gerald Ryan took the training honours – also with a double – preparing Gothenburg ($3.50 fav) and Aviator ($5.50).