By Ray Hickson
Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup tends to prefer his horses to do the talking and when it comes to his promising mare Adelong she’s had plenty to say in her short career.
The four-year-old is building an imposing record, which stands at five wins and two seconds from seven starts, but she's showing the trainer that she's deserving of being aimed at stakes racing in the spring.
Widdup elected to save Adelong from last week’s Listed Bob Charley AO Stakes and send her around in Saturday’s Catanachs Sprint (1100m) at Rosehill – it’s still a step up in class but a smaller one and because of that the confidence levels have to stay measured.
“I think she has that quality better horses have,’’ he said.
“I don’t like to get carried away, she’s got a long way to go but you can only believe what you see.
“You’d have to suggest there is black type in her. There are plenty of races through the spring, it’s the best time of year for fillies and mares.
“I’m trying to get her benchmark up a little bit and not throw her in the deep end. It’s unrealistic to think you can win all the time.
“I know we’ve been lucky to have Black Caviar and Winx over the last few years but there’s a lot that don’t do that who are very good horses.’’
Adelong has been successful over the Rosehill 1100m at her past two starts, she downed Lashes, who opposes her again on Saturday, back on May 16 on a soft 5 then two weeks later held off Broken Arrows, buttering up again as well, on a heavy 8.
While the mare drops 2kg on her last start win she does meet Lashes 6kg worse for their last clash and Broken Arrows 2.5kg worse. Despite that she was $2.70 favourite with TAB on Friday for what Widdup says will be her last run before a short break.
“This race is pretty good quality for this time of year,’’ Widdup said.
“If you spoke to Joe Pride he’d be confident Superium is a nice horse, Matt Smith has got Lashes, it’s a bloody good race.
“Even the other day it was a good test, she had to come off that horse’s back and had a horse push up three wide on her.’’
What Widdup has noticed about Adelong this time in is she’s morphed herself from a one dimensional leader to a horse comfortable sitting just on the pace without making it.
And he says that’s showing on the track and will stand her in good stead to stretch out in distance.
“Last time in she would have over raced and did things wrong,’’ he said.
“Hughie (Bowman) said the best part of her race was the last 50m, they were coming at her but she was ready to go again.
“I’ve got no problems with 1200m but it’s just panned out that way. How she is relaxing I think she might get out to 1400m but I don’t need to stretch her just yet.’’
Adelong wins at Rosehill on May 30
Widdup is keen on the future prospects of his other two Rosehill runners, the two-year-old Showtime Lady and lightly raced filly Switched.
Showtime Lady won her only start in a small field at Canberra just after Christmas and though Widdup said she’ll appreciate further than the 1100m of the Darley Handicap she’s a horse to follow.
“I think she will be one of those fillies that will get better,’’ he said.
“I’m excited to see how she goes, it’s a good starting point for her. I’m sure she is going to need 1200m and maybe 1400m but she is a good sensible filly bursting at the seams and I’m sure she will give a sight.’’
Switched chased home the speedy Witherspoon at Randwick at her first run from a break and will be fitter going into the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m) where she's $4.60 second favourite with TAB.
“I really like this filly and I don’t think I’ve worked her out properly. I think she is going to be a nice horse for me over the next couple of seasons,’’ Widdup said.