Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup is hoping Invictum Domina’s Kensington victory on Monday leads to a Group breakthrough for him at week’s end.
Widdup scored with former Victorian mare Invictum Domina ($4.80) in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m), and is looking forward to saddling Sandbar in Saturday’s $300,000 Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
The consistent Snitzel three-year-old has been freshened since a gallant fourth to The Autumn Sun in the $1m Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 22.
In making it two city successes on end with Invictum Domina, Widdup clinched his sixth win of the new season and the 62nd of a relatively brief career, which yielded 51 in his first full season of training in 2017-18.
Widdup is doing a splendid job with Invictum Domina, whose first three wins (two of them at Sandown) were in Victoria before syndicators Darby Racing switched her to his stable.
The five-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible has raced only three times for him, and ran well first-up when fourth in a Benchmark 75 Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm on August 22 after not beginning well.
Invictum Domina has subsequently stepped up in distance and reeled off victories at her next two starts against her own sex; a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m) with 59kg at $26 and again on Monday on the Kensington track with 2kg less.
Widdup’s brother-in-law Christian Reith is unbeaten on Invictum Domina, and the trainer was quick to acknowledge his role in her great form: “Christian has ridden her perfectly in both wins, and the mare is going terrific,” he said.
Reith took Invictum Domina to the front on settling down, then controlled the race. She was never threatened in the straight, comfortably holding a late challenge from $2.60 favourite Savacool.
Widdup afterwards confirmed Corey Brown’s booking for Sandbar in the Roman Consul. He has partnered the colt at his last two starts.
Sandbar is the stable’s established flag-bearer. He has already provided Widdup with two Listed triumphs; the Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm in February and Rosebud (1100m) at Rosehill on August 11, and was also runner-up to Blue Diamond Stakes winner Written By in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in March.