Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup celebrated a provincial breakthrough at Wyong on Tuesday – with the help of brother-in-law Christian Reith.
The well-respected horseman, who took out his licence only a couple of months ago and set up shop at Hawkesbury, scored with Za Zi Ba ($7.50) in the 2YO Fillies Maiden Plate (1100m).
Reith’s clever ride undoubtedly got the All Too Hard filly home to provide Widdup with his first winner from only his second starter at the provincials.
Widdup made a dream start to his career when he scored with his debut runner, Junglized, at Canberra on May 26.
He then followed up by scoring with Chilcotin at Goulburn on July 7.
Widdup took two horses to Wyong; his other representative Aberration ($6.50) finished second in the Class 1 Handicap (1350m).
He has already built a 25 per cent winning strike rate – his three winners (all partnered by Reith) coming from 12 runners.
Reith deservedly earned top marks from his brother-in-law after getting Za Zi Ba – having only her third start and first for her new trainer – home ahead of Joy For Us ($16) and Lass Vegas ($51). The filly was slow to begin, but Reith took full advantage of her inside draw and pushed her through to take up a prominent position.
He took the race by the scruff of the neck approaching the home turn, sending his mount into second place behind Maui Princess ($8), then overhauling that filly on straightening.
Understandably, Widdup was delighted to tick off his first provincial winner with Za Zi Ba.
“She has been terrific all preparation, and has trialled really well,” he said.
“Though a little bit slow away, Christian pushed her though and she did a good job.
“She is a nice filly who is definitely going to improve.”
Reith said it was “all about getting the job done” after Za Zi Ba was slowly away.
“She will be a lot better when she can settle, and will show a better turn of foot,” he predicted.
“She got a little bit tired at the end, and was entitled to.” – Courtesy Hawkesbury Race Club