Hawkesbury trainer Jamie Thomsen has won five races with stable flag-bearer Shadow Flight this year – and is confident there are more to come. But not for the time being.
Thomsen has decided to rest Saturday’s Kembla Grange winner in the belief that the gelding will repay him next year with further success, perhaps even with a city breakthrough.
“Shadow Flight has done a terrific job to stand up to racing as he has because he hasn’t really had a good spell in the last 14 or 15 months,” Thomsen said. “Even though he is in winning form and a mudlark, he has earned a break. By looking after him now, I’m sure he will repay us in the future.”
Shadow Flight ($4.20) took his record to five wins and seven placings from 21 starts with his victory over $3.40 favourite Leave Ya Numba and Chilli Beauty ($21) in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1600m) at Kembla. Thomsen and his father Bob, the former outstanding Randwick trainer, purchased now five-year-old Shadow Flight (Duporth-Shadow Miss) privately from Hobartville Stud as an untried two-year-old.
“He had been broken in and we hadn’t seen his pedigree page when he looked at him,” Thomsen explained. “Dad really liked him and commented that he resembled one of TJ Smith’s bone and muscle stayers by Agricola. Sure enough Agricola was in his pedigree when we did get a chance to look at it.
“Shadow Flight is out of a full sister to the 2011 South Australian Derby winner Shadows In The Sun, and I’m sure he will stay. But I haven’t pushed him to middle distance racing yet because he hasn’t been strong enough.”
After purchasing Shadow Flight, the Hawkesbury trainer then put together a syndicate which is managed by his father and includes some of his good clients. Thomsen did not rush Shadow Flight early in his career, giving him only four starts as a three-year-old. In fact he started 12 times (for four placings) before breaking through at Nowra in February.
He has since scored at Orange (March), Scone (July) and Dubbo last month before his determined Kembla win. Thomsen had no qualms about starting Shadow Flight on the Heavy 9 at Kembla, and he toughed it out strongly after a patient Brandon Griffiths ride.
The former South Australian apprentice’s display caught the attention of former champion jockey Wayne Harris, who told Sky Racing viewers that he “had shown great composure”. Griffiths relocated to Hawkesbury last year, and is in the process of transferring his indentures to Thomsen.
“Brandon has a lot of ability, and I’ve got no doubt that he can make his mark in Sydney as soon as he starts getting the opportunities,” he said.
Husband and wife training partnership Mitchell and Desiree Kearney followed Hawkesbury apprentice Qin Yong’s Jungle Juice Cup triumph at Cessnock last Friday by winning the closing race with Dynamic Dynasty ($5.50).
Given a perfect ride by the experienced Chris O’Brien, Dynamic Dynasty tracked the speed and was never troubled in the Benchmark 58 Handicap (1570m) once he hit the front in the straight. He beat Lucciola Belle ($9) and Silent Jack ($31) to also post the fifth win of his career.
The Dreamscape gelding certainly deserved the victory as he had been runner-up at Muswellbrook on September 9 and again at Cessnock eight days later.