Hawkesbury apprentice Chelsea Ings notched a milestone at Dubbo on Saturday with the 20th win of her career. In the process, she provided Hawkesbury trainer John Higgins with his first victory of the season.
And fellow Hawkesbury trainers Mitch Newman and Brad Widdup also posted wins at the same Dubbo meeting and Canberra last Friday respectively.
In a watershed year, Ings clinched her 12th victory of the 2016-17 season by scoring on the Higgins-trained Kingston in the opening event at the Dubbo TAB fixture. Kingston ($2.70) was having his seventh start and comfortably won the Maiden Handicap (1120m).
As a result of Saturday’s success, Ings’s country claim reduces from 3kg to 2kg. But she can still claim the former at provincial meetings.
A three-year-old by Red Ransom stallion Arlington, Kingston gave his trainer a breakthrough success this season. It was also Higgins’ first win since Leica Comet at Mudgee in April, 2015.
Arlington also sired another Hawkesbury winner at Dubbo – Hurricane Harbour. With Adrian Robinson aboard, the Newman-trained Hurricane Harbour ($6) easily won the Benchmark 65 Handicap (1320m).
Newman and Robinson teamed to score with the same horse at Queanbeyan last December. That was Robinson’s first winner since partnering Owhanica to victory at Mudgee in December, 2013.
Hurricane Harbour was bred by former leading Sydney bookmaker Bruce McHugh, who undoubtedly would have been delighted with Arlington’s dual success on Saturday. The Newman – Robinson combination nearly snatched a Dubbo double, just missing with Miss Fortuitous ($5) in the Maiden Plate (1320m).
Hurricane Harbour was his trainer’s fifth winner this season. Like Kingston, he is also a three-year-old and was racing for the ninth time.
Widdup, a recent addition to the Hawkesbury training ranks, scored at Goulburn on Friday with a former member of the large Godolphin team, Chilcotin. Having his first start for his new trainer, Chilcotin ($7) was responsible for an excellent performance in the 3YO Maiden Handicap (1400m).
Widdup put blinkers on the gelded son of Medaglia D’Oro, and the outside barrier (13) certainly wasn’t unlucky. The three-year-old, now raced by a Dynamic Syndications syndicate, easily beat Daydream Explorer ($4.40) and roughie Celtic Love ($51).
This was Widdup’s second victory with only his seventh starter. He made an unforgettable start to his training career by scoring with his debut runner, Junglized, on Canberra’s Acton track on May 26.