It was six of the best! On a memorable day for Hawkesbury trainers with six winners at two tracks, Brad Widdup clinched his first treble and Garry White, Scott Singleton and Mike Van Gestel also got in on the act.
Widdup’s brother-in-law Christian Reith also landed a treble, whilst Hawkesbury apprentice Chelsea Ings continued her winning momentum by scoring at Orange on Van Gestel’s Cheeky Bella ($3.40).
Widdup won three races recently on consecutive days at Canterbury, Newcastle and Wyong – but this was the first occasion he has won three on the same day. His winners were Aberration ($1.45 favourite) and Legadema ($2.60) at Gosford, whilst Resort ($1.80 fav) made the trainer’s trip to Orange worthwhile for his first success at that track.
The two-track treble lifted Widdup’s tally to 30 for season 2017-18, which is only six months old. He has been training for less than 12 months, and certainly has the wind in his sails. He rushed back from the annual Karaka yearling sales in New Zealand to go to Orange, whilst John Keegan represented him at Gosford.
Resort was Widdup’s first winner at Orange, and Aberration and Legedama made it three successes for the trainer at Gosford (having broken through there last August with Acqume). Aberration and Resort are both raced by clients of Dynamic Syndications, a great supporter of Widdup’s stable.
Lonhro four-year-old Aberration (Brenton Avdulla) made it two wins on end, winning a three-horse Class 2 Handicap (1600m) at Gosford, whilst former Queenslander Legedama (Tim Clark) made a winning debut for his new trainer, leading throughout in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m).
Resort, a Domesday four-year-old, got a confidence boost when he bolted away to beat his Class 1/Maiden Plate (1600m) rivals at Orange by a widening five and a half lengths.
“It was good to get him up to 1600m, and I feel he can get further,” Widdup said afterwards.
Reith shared the trainer’s confidence. “He’s definitely looking for 2000m now,” he said of Resort. Reith also scored on $2.10 favourite Fame Shines for Singleton in the Class 2 Handicap (1280m) and another favorite, Dubali ($2.70), for Mudgee trainer Cameron Crockett. Fame Shines, a lightly-raced three-year-old by Perfectly Ready, looks capable of winning better races.
Singleton put winkers on him for his Orange assignment. He had won his maiden there on December 30 before tackling the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) on January 18, when sixth to Bella Martini.
White followed his treble on his home track last Wednesday by winning Orange’s opening race, the Maiden Handicap (1000m), with Snitzel mare And So It Goes ($3.70). With Mathew Cahill aboard, she went into Tuesday’s race first-up on the back of recent impressive Hawkesbury and Rosehill trials and upset $1.80 favuorite Dexluther.
Van Gestel set Cheeky Bella for a first-up win in the Benchmark 49 Handicap (1300m) – and the six-year-old mare didn’t let him down. Ings gave her a nice run near the inside, then eased around the tiring Zaha Country approaching the home turn.
Cheeky Bella did the rest, stretching clear to easily beat $51 shot Uncle Wingnut for her third win. She has also been placed on 13 occasions. “She has come back really good,” said Ings. The 23-year-old has “come of age” this season, posting her 21st winner since August and boosting her career tally to 44.