Kim Waugh-trained mare Newsfan signalled that she will be a serious contender for next year’s Provincial Championships with a dominant win in the 1200-metre benchmark 88 at Rosehill last Saturday.
The five-year-old mare was resuming from a spell but had scored an emphatic win in a recent barrier trial at her home track, Wyong, a fact that had not gone unnoticed by punters, who sent her out a $2.20 favourite.
Josh Parr settled his mount off the pace, where she enjoyed a good run. In the straight he took the mare to the outside to make her run.
Newsfan quickly dashed up to claim the leaders inside the final 150 metres, drawing away to score an easy win.
“Everything just went to plan and it doesn’t always work out that way,” Waugh said. “When she was one out and one back and peeled out at the top of the turn, I thought, ‘Gee, if she gets beat I’ll be disappointed.’
“I thought she was forward enough to win today, but I know she’s still got a bit of improvement in her.
“When they’re going so well, it’s always hard to miss a good mares’ race, so we’ll sit down and figure it out but she still qualifies well for the Provincial Championships.”
Parr is also a fan.
“She’s a beauty. She smashed them,” he enthused. “She got into a good spot and when I peeled off their backs she let down really well.
“The last 80 metres was really strong when she started to pull away.
“The leaders had a very soft time of it, so it was always going to be difficult to run them down but she had a lap on them and did it easily.”
Newsfan’s win made it four for the day for Parr, who is riding in career-best form.
Canberra-trained galloper Handle the Truth galloped his way out of TAB Highway eligibility when he won his second race in the series at the Rosehill meeting.
Ridden by Riverina jockey Nick Heywood, who made the trip to Sydney for the one ride, the three-year-old settled outside the leader, Rock The World.
On entering the straight, Heywood quickly sooled the gelding to the front.
Despite not having had the easiest of runs, the Keith Dryden/Scott Collings-trained Handle the Truth ($3) still had enough left in the tank to hold off a strong challenge from I Am Captain.
“He drew a bit awkward and he can be a bit slow out but today we put him wherever he was happy,” Heywood said.
“He wanted to be there so I was happy to put him there.
“He’s still working it out. His legs are all over the place and I think he’s only going to get better the further he gets out in distance.”
Handle the Truth has now won four races from just seven starts and gives every indication that the best is yet to come.
Don’t Give up
After a disappointing effort at his previous start, the Danny Williams-trained Don’t Give a Damn ($4.20) bounced back to his best at Rosehill on Saturday, scoring an all-the-way win in the final race on the program, the 1500-metre benchmark 88.
With jockey Adam Hyeronimus dictating the pace, the result never really looked in doubt as the five-year-old went to the line a comfortable winner over Mahalangur, with favourite Fierce Impact finishing the race off strongly to nab third.
“The biggest thing was that he jumped properly,” Hyeronimus explained.
“Although he didn’t break and hit the ground running, he jumped with the field, which he hasn’t been doing, so that was a big plus for us. We weren’t on the back foot from the get-go.
“He was able to find the front and get into his rhythm and I just had a nice, easy time.
“There didn’t look to be much speed on paper and we controlled the race and steered out to the better ground.”
The win was Don’t Give a Damn’s seventh from 13 starts.
The Matthew Dale-trained three-year-old Sausedge, with Kayla Nisbet in the saddle, made it two wins from as many starts when she took out the 1200-metre Class 1 at Wagga Wagga’s Showcase meeting last Friday.
The filly, who started at $1.50, never gave her backers any cause for concern, racing away to record a three-length win. Sausedge looks to have a bright future.
Earlier in the program, the John Marzol-trained Titian Storm caused a boilover in the $40,000 1200-metre maiden.
The four-year-old, ridden by Mathew Cahill and having his fifth start, saluted at $61.
Jake Duffy starred at Berrigan last Saturday, riding three winners including the Andrew Dale-trained Little Red Devil in the Berrigan Cup (1600m).
Also on Saturday, Balranald Spring Cup (1200m) was won by Aussie Bob, trained by Heidi Smith and ridden by Murray Henderson.
Cejay has key to Pride
Pippi’s Pride brought up a winning hat-trick when he won the 1450-metre Sandy Hollow Cup at Muswellbrook last Sunday.
The eight-year-old had won the Denman and Kayuga cups at his previous two starts.
Trainer Stephen Gleeson credits apprentice Cejay Graham for the gelding’s winning streak, saying her decision to lead in each of those races was the key.
“I never would’ve dreamt of riding him like that,” he said. “When jockeys used to go to the front on him, he’d never find the line.
“I just think he’s enjoying Cejay riding him where he can be the boss. She’s not fighting him and he’s enjoying racing his own way.”