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Local Trainers Shine On Hawkesbury's Final Day Of Racing For 2017

Hawkesbury trainer Mitch Kearney’s wife Desiree has a keen eye for a horse. So he wasn’t backward in giving her due credit – along with his brother Shane – when Storm Master ($12) broke through for his first NSW victory at his home track on Sunday.

 In a tough finish, the former Victorian four-year-old out-gamed another Hawkesbury representative Legistation ($5) after the pair had the NewOz Concreting Benchmark 65 Handicap (1400m) to themselves all the way along the home straight.

 “Our owners Peter Knight and Robyn Tatham gave us a commission to buy them a horse, and Desiree picked this bloke out at a Melbourne tried sale earlier in the year,” Kearney explained.

 “He had been only lightly raced, and Desiree liked him when she saw him.

 “It’s great to win a race for Peter and Robyn.”

 A four-year-old son of Sydney Group 1 winner Master Of Design, Storm Master began his career with Caulfield trainer Andrew Noblet and, at his fifth start, won a Werribee Maiden Plate (1400m) on May 15. He was sold after failing at his next start on the Pakenham synthetic track 10 days later.

 Storm Master had notched three placings since joining Kearney’s stable, and the trainer was confident he would run well today in spite of a distant last of four runners as a $2 favorite at the annual Bong Bong picnic meeting on November 24, when he carried 61.5kg in a 1200m Open Handicap.

 “That was a forgettable race,” Kearney said. “He bounded in the air at the start and lost ground and was never comfortable.

 “Subsequently, he trialled strongly at Warwick Farm earlier in the month, and worked really well on the course proper on Tuesday morning. He was a different horse today when he jumped well and got back to his usual pattern of racing up on the pace.”

 Josh Parr had the winning mount, clinching a double in successive races, but not before Kearney had tried hard to book apprentice Jean Van Overmeire, who also played an unwitting role in the breakthrough victory.

 “Jean rode Storm Master in a couple of races in October, once when we tried the horse over 1600m,” Kearney said.

 “He went a bit hard and Jean recommended we bring him back to 1400m.

 “I tried to book him, but his manager had taken the ride on Bochy (who finished fifth).”

Storm Master (Josh Parr) upset more fancied horses to win at Hawkesbury on Sunday. Credit: Bradley Photos.

 Kearney and fellow Hawkesbury trainer Jamie Thomsen have just returned from a brief trip to Hong Kong for the International meeting, and said his wife and his brother Shane looked after the team whilst he was away.

“We have got eight horses in work at present, and Desiree and Shane did a great job working and looking after them.”

Kearney and another Hawkesbury trainer Garry White – who scored two races later with Dunatun – followed on from the Kembla Grange successes yesterday of Brad Widdup and Wade Slinkard. Widdup’s promising three-year-old Spellology ($1.45 favorite) maintained his unbeaten record from three starts in the Class 2 Handicap (1600m), and Slinkard and apprentice Claire Nutman again teamed to land the Benchmark 60 Handicap (2000m) with Stradazzle ($12).

 White had endured second placings with $4 chances Fifth Affair and Letter To Juliette before Dunatun ($5.50) finally broke through at his ninth start in the OnRail Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m). With Corey Brown aboard, Dunatun was too strong over the closing stages for Nutman’s mount Kathaire ($5), also prepared at Hawkesbury by her father Richard.

 “He’s a funny horse,” White said of his Snitzel three-year-old. “He is a big bloke and doesn’t have a fast action, and I’ve tried him over longer distances.

 “Bringing him back to this shorter trip was the secret. I’ll keep him to around 1200m and see if we can win a couple more races with him.”

 Brown, Parr and Brenton Avdulla shut out their rivals, sharing the seven-race program between them at Hawkesbury’s closing meeting of the calendar year. Brown won the last three races (Allez Bien, Dunatun and impressive Newcastle filly Sasso Corbaro) after Avdulla had won the opening two (Coonawarra and Ballet Rose) and then Parr won the third and fourth on first starter Godunov and Storm Master.

Hawkesbury trainer Mitch Kearney’s wife Desiree has a keen eye for a horse. So he wasn’t backward in giving her due credit – along with his brother Shane – when Storm Master ($12) broke through for his first NSW victory at his home track on Sunday.

 In a tough finish, the former Victorian four-year-old out-gamed another Hawkesbury representative Legistation ($5) after the pair had the NewOz Concreting Benchmark 65 Handicap (1400m) to themselves all the way along the home straight.

 “Our owners Peter Knight and Robyn Tatham gave us a commission to buy them a horse, and Desiree picked this bloke out at a Melbourne tried sale earlier in the year,” Kearney explained.

 “He had been only lightly raced, and Desiree liked him when she saw him.

 “It’s great to win a race for Peter and Robyn.”

 A four-year-old son of Sydney Group 1 winner Master Of Design, Storm Master began his career with Caulfield trainer Andrew Noblet and, at his fifth start, won a Werribee Maiden Plate (1400m) on May 15. He was sold after failing at his next start on the Pakenham synthetic track 10 days later.

 Storm Master had notched three placings since joining Kearney’s stable, and the trainer was confident he would run well today in spite of a distant last of four runners as a $2 favorite at the annual Bong Bong picnic meeting on November 24, when he carried 61.5kg in a 1200m Open Handicap.

 “That was a forgettable race,” Kearney said. “He bounded in the air at the start and lost ground and was never comfortable.

 “Subsequently, he trialled strongly at Warwick Farm earlier in the month, and worked really well on the course proper on Tuesday morning. He was a different horse today when he jumped well and got back to his usual pattern of racing up on the pace.”

 Josh Parr had the winning mount, clinching a double in successive races, but not before Kearney had tried hard to book apprentice Jean Van Overmeire, who also played an unwitting role in the breakthrough victory.

 “Jean rode Storm Master in a couple of races in October, once when we tried the horse over 1600m,” Kearney said.

 “He went a bit hard and Jean recommended we bring him back to 1400m.

 “I tried to book him, but his manager had taken the ride on Bochy (who finished fifth).”

 Kearney and fellow Hawkesbury trainer Jamie Thomsen have just returned from a brief trip to Hong Kong for the International meeting, and said his wife and his brother Shane looked after the team whilst he was away.

“We have got eight horses in work at present, and Desiree and Shane did a great job working and looking after them.”

 Kearney and another Hawkesbury trainer Garry White – who scored two races later with Dunatun – followed on from the Kembla Grange successes yesterday of Brad Widdup and Wade Slinkard. Widdup’s promising three-year-old Spellology ($1.45 favorite) maintained his unbeaten record from three starts in the Class 2 Handicap (1600m), and Slinkard and apprentice Claire Nutman again teamed to land the Benchmark 60 Handicap (2000m) with Stradazzle ($12).

White had endured second placings with $4 chances Fifth Affair and Letter To Juliette before Dunatun ($5.50) finally broke through at his ninth start in the OnRail Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m). With Corey Brown aboard, Dunatun was too strong over the closing stages for Nutman’s mount Kathaire ($5), also prepared at Hawkesbury by her father Richard.

 “He’s a funny horse,” White said of his Snitzel three-year-old. “He is a big bloke and doesn’t have a fast action, and I’ve tried him over longer distances.

 "Bringing him back to this shorter trip was the secret. I’ll keep him to around 1200m and see if we can win a couple more races with him.”

 Brown, Parr and Brenton Avdulla shut out their rivals, sharing the seven-race program between them at Hawkesbury’s closing meeting of the calendar year. Brown won the last three races (Allez Bien, Dunatun and impressive Newcastle filly Sasso Corbaro) after Avdulla had won the opening two (Coonawarra and Ballet Rose) and then Parr won the third and fourth on first starter Godunov and Storm Master.

Watch free replays of Hawkesbury's Sunday meeting here.

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