Run a Bathurst meeting and it’s odds-on you will get a Hawkesbury winner ... or two, three or even four. Hawkesbury trainers had to settle for a double on Sunday, continuing their 2018 winning momentum at the country track.
Scott Singleton and Craig Weeding won races with Jolen Jolen and Chekkapen respectively, making it 14 Hawkesbury winners at six Bathurst meetings conducted so far this season. The earlier winners were:
JANUARY 22: Respun (Peter Green), Sweet Fella (Garry Frazer) and Base Camp (Scott Singleton);
FEBRUARY 11: Stradazzle (Wade Slinkard), Final Trick (Mitch & Desiree Kearney) and Staggering (Scott Singleton):
FEBRUARY 19: Cheeky Bella (Mike Van Gestel):
MARCH 20: Sweet Bouquet (Brad Widdup), Yorkshire Rock and Staggering (Scott Singleton) and Playard (Garry Frazer);
APRIL 25: Cyclonite (Scott Singleton).
Singleton enlisted comeback apprentice Jenny Duggan to help him land Sunday’s 2YO Golden Nugget (1100m) with $12 chance Jolen Jolen. The Trusting filly broke through at only her third start, defeating Onsettling Down ($7) and another Hawkesbury representative, Garry Frazer’s $2.80 favorite Hot As Hell.
Duggan clinched her sixth success since resuming riding in March after being sidelined since September, 2013 when she sustained a serious knee injury in a Newcastle race. She and her husband Ben are now also the proud parents of two young boys, Maximillian and Sebastian.
Singleton afterwards was unsure whether he would continue with Jolen Jolen’s current preparation: “She has now had a barrier trial (at Warwick Farm) and three races, so I’ll wait and see how she pulls up,” he said.
Jolen Jolen contested the $400,000 Inglis 2YO Challenge (1100m) at the Scone carnival on May 11, but tailed the 16-horse field home behind Bare Naked Lady. Stewards reported she raced greenly and made the home turn awkwardly.
Young Hawkesbury trainer Weeding prepared the second winner of his career when Chekkapen ($5), ridden by Bathurst apprentice Jamie Gibbons, produced a brilliant finish to overwhelm his rivals in the Maiden Handicap (1300m).
A four-year-old son of Shrapnel, Chekkapen was disappointed for clear room on straightening, but stormed home when he did get into the open. He beat well-backed All The Wine ($4.80) and One Eye Watching ($20).
Weeding’s breakthrough success came at Queanbeyan on January 20 with Chocolate Coated. He freshened Chekkapen after the gelding lost his rider in a Mudgee 1850m event on March 31, and got him ready for yesterday’s assignment with a nice barrier trial third over 1000m at Hawkesbury on May 28.