The 'girls' had a day out at Nowra on Sunday. Women were associated with all seven winners – either as trainers or jockeys – and Hawkesbury trainers Wendy Haynes and Brooke Somers were among them.
On both occasions, they won with females and gear changes also played an important part in the results. Haynes scored with roughie Orpentiva, a four-year-old-old mare which is the only horse she has in work, whilst Somers won the following race with three-year-old filly Repentant.
Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Scott Singleton must have felt like the odd man out when he won the final event, the Benchmark 55 Handicap (1600m). Even then, he still had a strong female influence as Jess Taylor was the winning rider on his mare Celtic Diamond ($7).
Orpentiva ($26), ridden by Peter Wells, was having only her fourth start when she finished too strongly for $3.60 favorite Tearaway Charlie in the Maiden Plate (1600m). A daughter of Magic Albert, she did not race as a two and three-year-old. Her first three starts were all on provincial tracks and she relished both the addition of blinkers and the step up to 1600m.
Orpentiva is a sister to seven-times winner – including two in town - Straight Albert, who won from 1400m to 2100m.
“Orpentiva has always shown plenty of ability, and the blinkers have switched her on,” Haynes said afterwards. “She is tough and she tries. I’ll see how she pulls up, but she might go for a little break now.”
Somers, who has 16 horses in work, was thrilled with Paul King’s winning ride on Repentant ($6) in the Maiden Plate (1100m).
“What a ride from the Duck (King’s nickname),” Somers said. “He rode her exactly as we had planned. He came and rode her work on Tuesday morning, and was confident she would run well.”
Repentant had been placed at two of three recent provincial starts and, like Orpentiva, appreciated the drop back to country company. Repentant finished gamely to lead home a Hawkesbury quinella, relegating the Jason Attard-trained Elusive Filly ($11) into second placing.
The $2.70 favorite Damagic was third and never really threatened the first pair in the run home. Singleton made it a Hawkesbury treble when Celtic Diamond made it two wins from her last three starts. A four-year-old mare by Tickets, she was also successful at Cessnock on January 29 in a Class 2 Handicap (1570m).
Celtic Diamond narrowly beat Axion ($7) and another Hawkesbury representative Eerised ($8), a member of Mitchell Kearney’s team.