Experienced Hawkesbury trainer Garry White has his sights on another feature home track success with The Championships Day 2 winner Generalissimo.
The $200,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) at Hawkesbury Race Club’s metropolitan stand-alone Saturday meeting on April 29 is his immediate target.
Generalissimo (Blake Shinn) edged out Rosa Carolina in a thrilling finish to the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Royal Randwick, and a return meeting is on the cards in the Guineas. A three-year-old son of Dream Ahead, Generalissimo has now won four of his 11 starts.
Left: Generalissimo (Blake Shinn) powers along the rails to defeat Rosa Carolina (Christian Reith) at Royal Randwick. Image by Steve Hart Photographics
“He likes Randwick,” White said. “If you look at his fourth to Tactical Advantage in the Wilkes Quality there in January and close third to Man From Uncle in the Eskimo Prince (Group 3) in February, he had the right form line.
“His last two runs at home and at Rosehill on heavy ground weren’t his true form. Though he won a race at Hawkesbury last September on a heavy track, in retrospect I feel it was because he was the best horse in the race and not because he really handled the ground that day.”
White had hoped to qualify Generalissimo for the $400,000 Provincial Championships Final on the same program as the South Pacific Classic. But his three-year-old found the heavy going against him when seventh to Shazee Lee in the $150,000 Hawkesbury qualifier on March 2.
White then took the next best option by getting him ready for yesterday’s race – and achieved the desired result. Starting at a rather generous $15, especially in view of his Randwick form, Generalissimo was patiently ridden by Shinn and took advantage of an inside run in the straight to narrowly beat Rosa Carolina ($8).
White is no stranger to winning feature races on his home track. He won the 1985 Hawkesbury Gold Cup with Peaceful Joe, along with the 2008 Woodlands (now Godolphin) Crown with November Flight and 2012 Claret Stakes for two-year-olds with Villa Splendido.
“I’ve always considered Generalissimo had the potential to win a decent race, and it would be great to win the Guineas with him,” White added. “If I can do that and also land a Rowley Mile (I’ve been close before), I will have won all Hawkesbury’s feature races.”
Generalissimo’s victory came on top of fellow Hawkesbury trainer Mike Van Gestel winning the $30,000 Silver Apple Showcase 2YO (1000m) at last Friday’s Orange Cup fixture. Van Gestel scored with Charlie Chap (Ken Dunbar), who started at $6 and broke through for his initial win at only his fourth start.
A gelded son of Benfica, Charlie Chap was resuming after a break. His first three starts were all in town, so he found the drop back to country class an easier assignment.