Leading Hawkesbury trainer Scott Singleton is edging toward a first-time $1m prizemoney season. Singleton’s success with Adjective at Bathurst last Friday lifted him beyond $900,000 in his best season to date.
There are just over five weeks remaining before the season ends on July 31.
The five-year-old’s victory in the Benchmark 65 Handicap (1208m) provided Singleton with his 26th winner of the current racing year, highlighted by the biggest triumph of his 13-year career – a breakthrough Group 3 with Shazee Lee on his home track in the Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) in late April.
Adjective ($2.90 favorite) humped his 62kg to wear down leader Art ‘N’ Ollie ($5), with jockey Jess Taylor taking an inside run in the straight and riding him vigorously to the post. It was Adjective’s fourth win – and he has also managed four placings – from a 20-start career.
This was the gelding’s fourth start this campaign, and Singleton’s decision to switch him to a country assignment after three earlier provincial outings proved decisive. It was a good day for Hawkesbury trainers at Bathurst with Tim Walsh also clinching a victory.
Walsh, who prepares only a couple of horses, won his second race this season with Road To Shangri La ($10), in the Class 3 Handicap (1400m).
As with Adjective, Road To Shangri La is also a five-year-old gelding and had to carry a fair bit of weight (60.5kg).
With Shaun Guymer aboard, he was always up near the lead and fought on gamely to narrowly hold out another Hawkesbury representative, Jason Attard’s strong finishing Raise The Limit ($7).
Road To Shangri La had resumed with an encouraging sixth over 1200m at Bathurst on June 6, and appreciated the extra distance.
Walsh afterwards said he went into Friday’s race with a “little bit of confidence”. “He can be a bit of a tricky horse, but hopefully I’ve got the key to him now,” he said.
Road To Shangri La has won four of his 18 starts, and also scored at Bathurst last November in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1350m). On both occasions, he relegated an Attard runner into second placing. Raise The Limit’s stablemate Jimarni also chased him home at Bathurst in November.