It's been an excellent couple of days for Hawkesbury trainer Nick Mitchell. Fresh from a Nowra victory on Thursday with Belridge, Mitchell backed up at Muswellbrook on Sunday and cleaned up again, this time with lightly-raced filly Homily. And on both occasions, his winners have left nothing to chance.
Belridge romped home by five and a half lengths at Nowra, and his younger stablemate also gave her rivals a spanking. With Chad Lever aboard, Homily ($5.50 joint favourite) took up the running soon after the start of the 1300m Maiden Handicap at Muswellbrook and was never threatened.
She had nearly four and a half lengths to spare at the post from the other co-favorite My Burning Heart. Whilst Poet’s Voice filly Homily’s performance could scarcely have been more impressive, Mitchell revealed on his way home that she wasn’t totally comfortable on the wet track (Heavy 8).
“Chad told me Homily spun her wheels a few times during the race,” Mitchell said. “Given that, it certainly was a pretty good performance.”
There was extra significance for Mitchell in Homily’s win. She was bred and is raced by prominent owner John Thompson, whose famous New Zealand colors of black with the silver fern were carried to victory by Diatribe (Jim Cassidy) in the 2000 Caulfield Cup. Diatribe, in fact, is the sire of Homily’s unraced dam Parabellum.
“John was my first owner when I started training at Hawkesbury a few years ago,” Mitchell said. “He continues to be a great supporter. Homily didn’t race as a two-year-old, and I first saw her about six months ago.
“She has been a slow learner and very green, but the penny is starting to drop. She is very athletic and provided she pulls up well, I’ll try and keep her going until the end of the season whilst the BOBS bonuses are still available.”
Mitchell took two horses to Muswellbrook, where he previously scored with Radical Impact in February. He also started debutante Scheckter (Chris O’Brien), who finished ninth at $26 in Homily’s race.