It has been a week Hawkesbury trainers Brad Widdup and Wayne Austin will never forget.
They each notched up a “first” last Saturday; Widdup with a breakthrough metropolitan victory at Rosehill Gardens and Austin with the inaugural winner of his career at Gosford.
Whilst both are relative newcomers to the training ranks, they are experienced horsemen who know the ropes. Widdup took out his licence only a couple of months ago and set up shop at Hawkesbury, and Austin is based at he and his wife Penny’s Jarrara Park property at East Kurrajong and takes his horses to the track at Hawkesbury for gallops when necessary.
Widdup scored with Suspenders ($8) in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m) for three-year-old fillies.
Aside from his initial city success, there was extra satisfaction in the result as his brother-in-law Christian Reith rode the filly, making it a real family event for the young trainer, who broke away from the powerful Godolphin group to start training at Hawkesbury earlier this year.
Austin scored with $21 chance My Burning Heart (Josh Adams) in the Maiden Plate (1600m) .
Widdup has had a fantastic start to his career, winning with his debut starter Junglized at Canberra on May 26.
And he’s had quite a week, scoring also with Za Zi Ba at Wyong last Tuesday and Chilcotin at Canberra on Friday.
Suspenders was his 15th runner and his fifth winner – and Reith has been aboard all of them.
“This (city win) has been a bit quicker than I expected, but it’s fantastic,” a delighted Widdup said afterwards. Austin has been training for only a couple of seasons, and until yesterday had registered 12 placings (10 of them last season).
Fortunately, the final provincial meeting of the season at Gosford provided him with that elusive first winner.
Racing returns to Hawkesbury this Thursday, with the first meeting of the season a charity fundraiser for the Hawkesbury Living Cancer Trust, which funds a chemotherapy unit set up in the Hawkesbury Hospital.
“This is an excellent community facility only opened in January this year and the Hawkesbury Race Club is proud to be associated with raising funds for this much-needed cause,” Hawkesbury Race Club Chief Executive, Greg Rudolph said.
The track is currently rated a Soft 6.