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Widdup Eyes Overdue Stakes Win For Adelong

By Ray Hickson

Trainer Brad Widdup says Jay Ford ‘nailed’ his last steer on talented mare Adelong and is looking for a similar performance from both jockey and horse in the Listed $150,000 Bob Charley AO Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Trainer Brad Widdup

While Widdup would prefer a slightly kinder barrier draw for another shot at a stakes win, following Listed placings at Hawkesbury and Rosehill, he said there’s every chance the feature sprint could pan out as the At Sea Handicap did for her two weeks ago at the same track and distance.

Adelong sat outside the hot favourite Marway on that occasion before assuming control in the straight and holding off Wandabaa, who she meets on identical weight terms on Saturday.

“Things fell her way a bit there the other day,’’ Widdup said.

“He nailed the ride, it was a perfect ride, there was good speed in the race and she was able to freewheel up there on the speed and it suited her.

“I think she gained a lot of confidence out of it. It really suited her the other day and drawn out there a little bit and with good speed it really helps her.”

Despite the three-quarter length win Adelong is a $6.50 chance with TAB (on Thursday) with Wandabaa and Ballistic Lover disputing favouritism.

It’s the latter that Widdup suggests will hold the key to whether Adelong, unbeaten in heavy ground, can land in a similar position.

This time last year the five-year-old was an easy winner on a heavy track at Rosehill and went for a break with high hopes she would make the transition to spring.

Widdup threw her in the deep end but she was unplaced in four runs at Group level and ended the campaign requiring a tieback operation. Her form since returning suggests it did the trick.

“After winter she only had a freshen up and she went in some quality races, we had grand ideas of trying to qualify for the Everest and races like that,’’ he said.

“She’s one of those rare horses that the throat operation hasn’t seemed to worry her. It’s been quite successful I’d say.

“It was great to see her bounce back and do it and she seems to be going equally as well as she was into the last run.”

The Hawkesbury trainer said it was unlikely Akari will take her place at Randwick on Saturday but hopes Switched can stage a form reversal in the 50 Year And Life Members Handicap (1200m).

The four-year-old, who is yet to miss a place in nine starts on a heavy track, hasn’t raced since May 1 where she beat just two home in the Hawkesbury Gold Rush (1100m) and it left Widdup scratching his head.


Adelong wins at Randwick on May 29

“She was a little disappointing last start, she’s normally very honest but she didn’t finish the race off so I lost a bit of confidence there,’’ he said.

“We ran into Lost and Running first-up and she went well. I wasn’t too unhappy with her run at Caulfield, the track was playing in the middle that day and she was on the inside leading.”

Switched, $26 with TAB on Thursday, has had five starts at Randwick for five placings and at her last run on a wet track at headquarters she was beaten in the last stride by smart Godolphin mare Tailleur.

She trialled at Gosford at the end of last month and Widdup has the fingers crossed she can find her best form.

“She seems to be going the right way so I expect her to run well if we can roll forward and get up on the speed,’’ he said.

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Randwick meeting

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