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Sheeza A Precious One On Debut At Hawkesbury (Thurs)

By John Curtis

Irrespective of the result, Thursday’s home track meeting will be a special occasion for Hawkesbury husband and wife trainers Mitch & Desiree Kearney.

The couple’s two-year-old filly Sheeza Tricka (apprentice Jett Stanley) makes her debut in the XXXX Gold Provincial Maiden Handicap (1000m) – and it’s easy to understand why they are so excited to get her to the races.

Sheeza Tricka is the second foal, and first to race, of her dam Final Trick, who gave Team Kearney a memorable victory in the Bill Aspros Cup (1200m) at Bathurst on 11 February 2018.

Mitch & Desiree Kearney after Lady Shenanigans had won at Royal Randwick. Image by Bradley Photographers

The $81 chance on TAB, with Winona Costin aboard, was the couple’s very first runner in their joint training venture.

The Kearneys retired the Ad Valorem mare after four more runs to breed with her – but tragedy struck with her first foal.

“We lost that foal, a colt by Eurozone, after he had been broken in,” Desiree Kearney explained.

“He was a lovely colt and a rising two-year-old but got colic and required surgery, but unfortunately couldn’t be saved. We were devastated.

“I had a bit to do with Widden Valley, the sire of Final Trick’s second foal, when I was at Muskoka Farm, and that horse’s owner kindly offered us a free service. That’s how we got Sheeza Tricka.

“She has ability, but is only two years of age and this race will be a good education for her. She will go to the paddock afterwards, and will be a nice three-year-old next season.”

Team Kearney also runs Sizzling Tale (Stanley-$126) in the Weddings @ HRC F&M Maiden Plate (1300m), and plan to adopt different tactics.

“She has made the running at her last two runs at home last month when fourth both times, and left herself a sitting shot for others,” Desiree Kearney said.

“Sizzling Tale has still performed well, and this time we will try to get her behind the pace and enable her to finish off.”

Team Kearney has not ruled out backing up accomplished wet tracker Lady Shenanigans-$17 (all his seven wins have been on soft/heavy ground) in the Richmond Club CG&E Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) after he races at Warwick Farm today.

“We have spoken about it, but everything will depend on his Warwick Farm performance, and how he comes through the race,” Desiree Kearney said.

Dubbo apprentice Hannah Johnston has been given an opportunity by all-conquering trainer Chris Waller to clinch a maiden success at the Hawkesbury meeting.

She will ride resuming Pierro three-year-old Ceremonious ($5), who was placed at four of his five starts (including two at The Valley) at his first preparation in Victoria earlier in the season, in the De Bortoli Wines Super Maiden Plate (1500m).

Johnston, apprenticed to successful Dubbo trainer Michael Mulholland, has had 30 rides in the bush for three placings, and is spending some time with the Waller stable.

She partnered Ceremonious in a 900m Rosehill trial on June 11, and her 4kg claim brings the gelding in with 55kg; 1.5kg less than the limit weight.

Tomorrow’s meeting is the second last of the season, and sees last year’s premiership winner Tyler Schiller striving to retain his title and stave off his closest challengers, champion apprentice Zac Lloyd and thrice Melbourne Cup winner Kerrin McEvoy.

Schiller’s double at the last meeting on June 25 took him to 14 wins for the current season, narrowly ahead of Lloyd (13.5) and McEvoy (13).

Schiller and Lloyd each have six rides, and boast an early favorite. Lloyd rides Captain Eagle ($2.80 favourite on TAB) for Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou in the Congrats Eliza & Shannon CG&E Maiden Plate (1300m), and Schiller partners Jawharat Dubai ($2.60 equal fav) for Annabel Neasham in the F&M Maiden Plate (1300m).

McEvoy has only four bookings, but two of them are favorites; last start winner Tenniel ($2.90 fav) for Neasham in the HRC Motel Class1/Maiden Plate (2000m), and Triskelion ($4.20 fav) for Waller in the Richmond Club CG&E Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m).

The rail is in the TRUE position, and racecourse manager Kyle Cassim today posted a Heavy 8 rating, with a penetrometer reading of 5.92. No rain was recorded in the previous 24 hours, but 16mm fell in the previous seven days.

View the final fields with full form & race replays for Hawkesbury here

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