Kim Waugh started two horses at Wyong on Thursday, both went out as odds on favourites and both won like the good horses they promise to be.
King Hewitt, ridden by Brenton Avdulla, showed that patience pays off when he got the better of Uncle Rodriguez (Tim Clark) to win the HMA Power Generation Class One (1600m).
Clark then had his turn when he rode Oxford Angel, a half-sister to Oxford Poet, to an impressive win in the HMA Materials Handling Maiden (1100m) at her first start back from a spell.
King Hewitt, a four-year-old in his first preparation, has now had four starts for wins at Newcastle and Wyong.
“We had to be very patient with him because he was immature in the knees and we had to wait,” Waugh said.
“He was in and out a few times but there was no point in getting him to the races until he was ready and the patience has paid off.
“I think he is going to get further with time.”
Avdulla let King Hewitt settle in fourth position early, circled the field and then settled down to a battle with the Paul Perry trained Uncle Rodriguez.
It was only late that he gained the upper hand although Avdulla said he was confident he always had the measure of the other horse.
Waugh had only word to say as Oxford Angel hit the line to win by one and three-quarter lengths.
The filly did everything right after blowing the start at her previous two runs when second at Scone and third at Gosford.
“She got away perfectly today which allowed her to race up outside the leader,” Waugh said.
“We had no idea she would be up there because we did not know how she would jump.
“She is a lovely filly and has done her brother proud.”
The Waugh trained Oxford Poet is the winner of eight races, including the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill and more than $685,000 in prize money.
At his last start, last month, he ran second in the Group Three Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
The Paul Perry trained Nothing Too Hard is headed to the Queensland Derby following his impressive win in the HMA Flow and Industrial Maiden (2100m).
“He would need to have at least one more start down here then he will go to Queensland,” Perry said.
“He is a really nice horse though, he can gallop and more importantly he can stay.
“I threw a nomination in for the Derby just in case he started to show something and that was certainly a good win.
“It was also a great ride from Jason (Collett).
“The horse needs to settle and Jason did the job well.”
Last spring Perry sent Nothing Too Hard to Victoria where he ran seventh in the Geelong Classic and second last in the VRC Derby.
Collett let Nothing Too Hard drop out to near the tail of the field early and stayed there until the 800 metres.
He came off the fence, started to move forward on the outside and was the widest runners, outside a wall of horses on the turn.
He quickly dashed to the front and raced away to win by three lengths from Britannicus (Brenton Avdulla).
The Perry stable later landed a double when Final Frontier won the HMA GTech Cyclones Class Two (1350m) to give Tim Clark a double.
Earlier Clark had won on Oxford Angel for Kim Waugh.
Clark let Final Frontier settle in fourth place before powering home out wide to win by three quarters of a length.
“That is the way he has to be ridden and it is good to get another win with him,” foreman, Shannon Perry, said.
Bjorn Baker’s decision to fit blinkers to Prime Candidate proved an inspired one when the three-year-old careered away to win the HMA Geotechnical Benchmark 65 (1100m).
Baker made the decision because he rates the horse “such a relaxed dude the blinkers will sharpen him up.”
Prime Candidate, ridden by Jason Collett, was slowly away from the inside gate but Collett took him forward to join Behrooz in the lead.
Approaching the turn the heavily backed odds on favourite Wander, having his first start from a spell, moved up to challenge Prime Candidate.
However Prime Candidate had plenty left and went on to beat Wander by two lengths.
“That was a good effort because he had to do it at both ends but I was able to give him a bit of a breather mid race,” Collet said.
Baker’s foreman, Jack Bruce, said it was good to see the horse now had three wins from his only four starts.
“He is never the smartest horse away nut he is a really nice horse going places,” Bruce said.
“That was a ten out of 10 ride from Jason.”
The win gave Collett a double after earlier winning on No Effort Needed but it should have been a treble.
He was late arriving at the course and missed the winning ride on Tunero in the first.
Bargain buy Alassio resumed from a spell and defied a betting drift to win the HMA Wear Solutions Benchmark 70 (1100m) for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Rachel King held the daughter of Foxwedge together as she and Classify (Tim Clark) were engaged in a speed duel to the turn.
However, while Alassio, on the outside, was racing well within herself Clark was starting to niggle at Classify.
In the straight Alassio sprinted quickly to win by two and a half lengths with King simply riding hands and heels.
“She is a lovely filly and it is good to see her come back and win so easily,” stable representative, Claudia Miller, said.
“After she won at her first start at Kembla we tipped her out then when she came back she had a few minor issues, mainly to do with maturity, so we held her back.
“She is such a powerful filly and so well bred yet she cost only $50,000 (at the Easter sale) as a yearling because she was small.
“She has developed into a lovely filly now.”
The Chris Waller trained pair Tunero and Cormac made a two-horse affair of the HMA Group Three-Year-Old MaIden (1600m) with Tunero narrowly winning in class record time.
Tunero’s original jockey, Jason Collett, arrived on course just in time to see the horse he should have been riding steered to victory by Adam Hyeronimus.
Collett said he had simply mis-judged the time it would take to get to Wyong and when he could not make it in time to weigh out Hyeronimus picked up a lucky last-minute ride.
Waller’s stable representative Glenn Barnes believes both horses have a future.
“Tunero was strong on the line and we think he should get further while it won’t be long before Cormac wins a race,” Barnes said.
Hyeronimus backed up Barnes’ assessment.
“Tunero was always going to win but not by much,” he said.
Hyeronimus settled Tunero in fourth place early before making his move approaching the turn.
Brenton Avdulla, on Cormac, made his move at the same time and the pair settled down to a horse fight in the straight with Tunero only getting the upper hand near the line to win by a neck.
They streeted the remainder with the early leader Whitney’s Star (Alena Skerritt) hanging on for third, a further four and a quarter lengths back.
Michael Hawkes rated Desert Lord a future Saturday city horse after his dominant win in the HMA Instrumentation Maiden (1350m).
Desert Lord, ridden by Koby Jennings, came from fourth early and raced away in the straight to win by three and a-quarter-lengths from the James Cummings trained first starter Erudition (Jason Collett) which had tailed off to last early but flew home late for an impressive debut.
The win by Desert Lord came after his luckless second, on debut, in a maiden at Hawkesbury when ridden by Jennings.
“That’s better,” Jennings said.
“He should have won at Hawkesbury but he did a lot wrong,” Hawkes said.
“He got away reasonably well today and got into a nice rhythm but still wanted to run around a bit in the straight.
“He is a nice horse and we think he will eventually get to Saturday city class, but we are travelling him around to teach him to be a race horse and to help build his confidence.”