They may have been nearly 5½ years apart, but there was a certain déjà vu about another Garry White scene-stealing performance on his home track on Wednesday.
The vastly-experienced Hawkesbury trainer took the spotlight with a treble at his club’s opening meeting of 2018, scoring with Dunatun ($7.50), Fifth Affair ($1.65 favourite) and Letter To Juliette ($2.80 fav). There were certain similarities with his previous treble – also at home at a Saturday meeting on 1 September 1 2012 – when his winners were East Village ($12), Boardwalk ($13) and Colonel Light ($8).
On both occasions, White took four horses to the races and jockeys Nigel Seymour and Corey Brown contributed to two of his three winners. White also started Magical Tales (fourth) at that 2012 meeting, and his other representative (Redemption Road) at Wednesday’s meeting finished sixth. Whereas Seymour rode East Village and Boardwalk (Shaun Guymer was aboard Colonel Light), Brown partnered Dunatun and Fifth Affair.
Tye Angland had the winning mount on Letter To Juliette in the RAAF Base Richmond Benchmark 65 Handicap (1800m). No less importantly, White’s long-standing owner, Hobartville Stud’s Grahame Mapp, figured in both trebles.
Mapp owned Colonel Light and also races two of yesterday’s winners, Fifth Affair and Letter To Juliette. The pair is about to celebrate one of racing’s most remarkable and enduring partnerships.
“Come March 3, I will have trained for Grahame for 40 years,” White revealed in the Hawkesbury Winners’ Bar after Letter To Juliette had clinched his treble. “It’s been a lovely game of chess,” he added. “We’ve got a nice team of young horses in the stable at present, so hopefully this result is going to be the start of a really good year.”
Hawkesbury horses figured strongly chasing the White horses home in all three races. The Richard Nutman-trained Kathaire ($6) was runner-up to Dunatun in the Bob & Julie Carroll 40th Anniversary Class 1 Handicap (1300m), whilst Fifth Affair led home a Hawkesbury trifecta in the Easy Lane Provincial & Country Maiden (1100m). Jason Clisby’s Avago Boy ($21) was second, with Wanda Ings’ Missile Miss ($12) a late closing third.
Jason Attard’s Prodigy ($17) was runner-up to Letter To Juliette, whom White confidently predicts can win more races. “I’ve got a bit of time for this mare (by Dane Shadow), and Tye (Angland) likes her as well,” he said. “She is strong at the finish of her races, and I’m sure she will manage longer distances than 1800m.”
Whilst Letter To Juliette and Fifth Affair race in the familiar Mapp white, brown and yellow colors, White also took great pleasure from Dunatun’s second win on end. The Snitzel three-year-old has amongst his owners two prominent Queensland businessmen, Russell Caporn and Jeff Bentley.
“Russell and Jeff have been good supporters of mine, and it was also special to win for them today,” White said. White is eagerly looking forward to the return to racing of his talented four-year-old Generalissimo: “He’ll trial at Randwick on Monday, and then be ready to resume,” White said.
Generalissimo has won four of his 12 starts, including the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Randwick on April 8 last year during The Championships. He hasn’t raced since finishing a luckless sixth to another local Shazee Lee in the Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) three weeks later.