Talk about keeping it in the family! Hawkesbury’s Nutman family certainly did that at Wyong last Saturday on a day they will long remember.
Richard Nutman prepared his first winner of the season when lightly-raced Kathaire ($7) steamrolled her rivals in the Maiden Plate (1200m). She was ridden by his daughter Claire and is raced by his parents W.J. (John) and Dell, who were both on course to celebrate the victory.
John Nutman, a former long-serving director of Hawkesbury Race Club, was afforded life membership in 1996 for his outstanding contribution to the provincial club.
To put the icing on the cake for the Nutman family, Claire’s fiancé, jockey Chad Lever, made a successful return by winning the opening race at Wyong on odds-on favorite Auerbach. Lever sustained serious injuries in a Scone race fall in August, and resumed riding only last week.
Kathaire (a combination of the names of Richard’s sister Kathryn and daughter Claire) is the only horse Nutman currently has in work at Hawkesbury. She is by Per Incanto (Italian for it’s magic), both leading New Zealand first season sire for two-year-old winners in 2014-15 and again leading NZ sire for three-year-old winners in 2015-16.
The son of Street Cry also produced last Saturday’s impressive Royal Randwick winner Lanciato.
“We purchased Kathaire for $30,000 (Lot 47) at the 2015 Inglis Classic yearling sale,” Richard Nutman said this morning. “New Zealand’s Little Avondale Stud offered three of Per Incanto’s progeny at that sale, and she was the cheapest (the others fetched $50,000 and $310,000).
“Kathaire has always shown a lot of ability, and it was good to see her realise that at Wyong.”
Undoubtedly the mare’s win was well and truly deserved. Nutman did not race her as a two-year-old and she ran fourth on debut to Stonebrook (who has since won a further three races, including two in town) in a 3YO Maiden Plate (1100m) at Hawkesbury in April last year. She then ran five consecutive placings (at Hawkesbury and Newcastle) before bolting away from her rivals at Wyong.
Kathaire moved up strongly out wide on the home turn in the Maiden Plate (1200m) and careered away to score by five and a half lengths from $2.25 favourite Sekiyama. Nutman put blinkers on prior to her second to Dunatun in a Hawkesbury Maiden (1100m) on December 17.
Claire Nutman, who has ridden 116 winners, will complete her apprenticeship to her father at the end of February.
Meanwhile, Hawkesbury apprentice Chelsea Ings continued her good recent form by notching another win at yesterday’s Gilgandra Cup meeting. Ings won the Maiden Handicap (1300m) on Dizzy Spell ($9.50) for Gilgandra trainer Bryan Dixon.
She had been successful on Smart Attire at Wellington on Boxing Day and again on Epic Decision at Inverell on New Year’s Day. The much-travelled Ings has now ridden 16 winners this season (her most successful to date) and 39 overall.