It was a case of different season, same result on Wednesday for the powerful Gai Waterhouse yard, which claimed the first two Sydney metropolitan races of the racing year in dominant style.
Gai Waterhouse, picture Sportpix.com.au
Queenstown and Proisir were the impressive victors and the pair sent an ominous warning through the Sydney training ranks that Tulloch Lodge was poised for another fruitful spring.
Waterhouse kicked off the ATC's day at Hawkesbury with a quinella in the $35,000, Australian Turf Club Maiden Handicap (1200m) where debutant Queenstown and Tommy Berry led from start to finish holding out stablemate All Enfield (Red Ransom) and Nash Rawiller, with Incrimination (Exceed And Excel) and Kerrin McEvoy.
The margins were 1 3/4L and 1 1/2L with the time 1.10.69 on the Dead 4 track, with the final 600m in 35.01. Queenstown paid $4.20 on NSW TAB while $3.90 favourite The Black Diva faded right out of the race in the main straight.
Queenstown, a filly by Stratum out of the Zabeel mare Regal Heights (NZ), races in the colours of Star Thoroughbreds and she cost $60,000 at the 2011 Magic Millions Winter Yearling Sale. Wednesday's win earned $19,880 and a $10,000 BOBS bonus for owners Secret Stone Syndicate managed by Ms F Walsh, A Simpson, A Richmond, Mrs S Richmond, Ms R Crane, M May, Mrs J Coulter, St George Holdings Syndicate managed by D Rye,and D Dong.
“It’s a great way to start the new season, two really nice fillies,” said stable foreman Mark Newnham.
“She [Queenstown] has shown us ability from day one but she’s just taken a bit of time to grown into herself. She’s done a really good job today,” he said.
Fellow debutant Proisir then trumped his stablemates with an effortless win in the $35,000, Myboycharlie @ Vinery Maiden Handicap (1200m) where he butchered the start before surging clear in the straight.
“He won that in the style of a really good horse,” stable representative Mark Newnham said.
“We’ve got a little bit to work with there, he’s certainly got the motor.
“Good start to the season, we’ve started leading stable hopefully we finish that way.”
Proisir, 58.5kg, missed the kick when the gates opened by almost five lengths but jockey Nash Rawiller rectified the situation somewhat by positioning the son of Choisir midfield on the rail.
Peter Snowden’s Lyric took over at the top of the straight and momentarily looked to have it sewn up, but Rawiller weaved a passage, hit the front 100m out and instantly put a few lengths on his opposition.
“I think he’s a very promising horse,” Rawiller said.
“Nothing really went right for him apart from probably a little bit of a break on the corner which helped him get into the race.
“He took full advantage of that and gee he was exciting the last two hundred,” he said.
Proisir, out of the Encosta de Lago mare Prophet Jewel, won by 1 3/4L over Lyric (58.5kg) (Flying Spur) and Kerrin McEvoy with Zerosixhundred (NZ) (59kg carried 57.5kg) (Captain Rio) and apprentice Josh Adams third, the margin a half-neck.
The time was a good 1.09.84 on the track with the final 600m in 34.73. Prosir paid $2.20 as NSW TAB favourite.
The colt is owned by A and M Falcone and he earned $19,880 for the winning debut.
Additional reporting James Buckley - racingandsports.com.au