Reiby Rhymer's $101 upset at Bathurst on Tuesday shocked punters – but not entirely her trainer Jason Attard.
A seven-year-old mare who hadn’t been placed in 15 previous starts but having only her third start for her new trainer, Reiby Rhymer (Winona Costin) led throughout in the Maiden Handicap (1300m).
“I expected her to run well and gave her a top-three chance,” Attard said on his way home from the meeting, having clinched the longest-priced winner of his career ($120.70 on NSW TAB).
“I’m not a punter, but had something on her for the place. To see her win was a great result, especially for her owners Sid and Carolyn Kelly.”
The popular Hawkesbury Race Club vice-chairman and his wife had almost retired Dylan Thomas mare Reiby Rhymer after she failed in 13 starts for another trainer. She finished last in a 1200m Class B Handicap at the Gosford picnic meeting on 16 December 2017 and earlier had an uncompetitive warning placed on her by stewards after a 21-length last at Hawkesbury in April that year.
“When Reiby Rhymer came home (to the Kelly’s Reibycroft Stud where Attard stables his horses), we put her out in the broodmare paddock and fed her up,” Attard explained. “We gave her a long time to strengthen before Sid and Carolyn decided to give her another try as a racing proposition.”
Attard said he was excited when the mare finished a close second in a 1000m barrier trial on her home track on December 7 last year. But his excitement turned to disappointment when she finished 11th of 12 in a Hawkesbury Maiden (1100m) nine days later.
“In retrospect, I made a mistake,” he admitted. “She went into that race with only the one trial after being off the scene for nearly 12 months.”
Chad Lever had the mount when Attard took Reiby Rhymer to Orange for a 1400m Maiden Plate on January 8, and planned to ride her quietly.
“Unfortunately, she bolted out in front before finishing eighth. Chad got off and told me he thought in the circumstances it wasn’t a bad run and felt it was best to let her run along rather than try to ride her back in the field.”
Attard heeded those words of advice, and Winona Costin made the running on the mare at Bathurst and held off another Hawkesbury runner, Noel Mayfield-Smith’s Hamish The Swift ($10), and $2.60 favorite Gemmahra.
“Winona did a nice job rating her out in front, and I’m sure the soft track helped as well,” Attard said. Reiby Rhymer was Attard’s fourth winner of the season and, as is often the case, Hawkesbury trainers played a major role on the seven-race card, winning three of them.
Husband and wife training team Mitchell and Desiree Kearney also notched their fourth winner of the season with Dynamic Dynasty (Adrian Robinson) in the Benchmark 58 Handicap (1800m) and Matthew Vella rang up his second winner of the season with Bad Boy For Love (Mitchell Bell) in the Class 1 Handicap (1300m).
Dynamic Dynasty ($3.50 favourite) won his sixth race – and his third since joining the Kearney yard – when he beat $41 chance Biscuit and another Hawkesbury representative, Jamie Thomsen’s Just Two Vees ($3.90). Bad Boy For Love ($3.40) humped 62kg to defeat $16 chance The Long Run, to whom he conceded a whopping 10.5kg.
Vella has done a terrific job with the three-year-old son of Wanted, who is raced by former trainer Colin Branthwaite and his wife Meagan, who operate Jazcom Thoroughbreds, a premium spelling and agistment property at The Oaks.
Bad Boy For Love broke through in a 1100m Maiden on his home track on December 16 and subsequently humped 61kg when narrowly beaten by Don’t Doubt Arthur in a Nowra Class 1 Handicap (1100m) on January 14. The Bathurst treble lifted the number of winners trained out of Hawkesbury to 12 this month and 87 overall for the season.