Attard Craves Home Track Success With Putt For Dough

What could top training your first city winner on Sydney’s premier racecourse? Trainer Mick Attard hopes to find that out when Putt For Dough chases back-to-back wins in the Midway Handicap (1500m) at Hawkesbury.

Trainer Mick Attard (Pic: Bradley Photos).

Still buzzing from the gelding’s breakthrough city success at Randwick two weeks ago, Attard said being front and centre on your home turf would be the icing on the cake.

The popular Hawkesbury trainer, who has had a well documented rocky past few years, is excited about the team he’s building and said everything points to Putt For Dough holding his form.

“It was a very big thrill, and to get it on such a big day and of all the tracks at Randwick,’’ Attard said.

“He’s on track for Saturday, the horse has done well. It would probably mean more if he won, because it’s my home track’s biggest day.”

Attard sustained serious injuries when he was kicked by a horse in August 2021, just under a year from moving to Hawkesbury having trained in Central and North Queensland for over a decade.

It was touch and go for a while but with a new property to train from and a small but promising team on his hands he says things are looking up.

“I came back to do the grandparent thing and I just got going and then I got hurt,’’ he said.

“I died twice and they brought me back apparently. I’m not allowed to ride work but I can ride my pony.

“We’ve moved from Clarendon to North Richmond to a property where we have our own five furlong track, walking machines, beautiful big boxes, spelling paddocks and day yards.

“The horses have just settled in. I’ve got a nice team of horses coming through.”

One of those horses is a Brutal colt out of the mare White Sage – but is definitely not the same colour as his grey mother.

Whether the change of scenery was any factor in Putt For Dough’s dominant last start win on a heavy track over 1400m is unclear but Attard said he’s confident after the horse worked on the course proper on Wednesday that he’s not gone backwards.

“They gave us barrier one again which is good,’’ he said.

“He gets back a bit sometimes. He’s an honest horse, he does try I’ll give him that much.

“When you take into consideration the rail was out and it was a heavy 8 so that’s like running 1500m plus it shouldn’t be a worry. Tom (Sherry) knows him well, he’s just got the knack for the horse.”

Putt For Dough, $6 with TAB on Thursday, was purchased after just one start for $5000, at the time he was named Vermeulen and was renamed by owner Bernie Young, from Tamworth trainer Jacob Perrett who told Attard the horse was just too hard to handle.

Attard can attest that the gelding is high maintenance but his consistent form is testament to the work he’s put in, to if not win the battle at least get into the fight.

“He’s a handful, he’s his own worst enemy but he can gallop,’’ he said.

“He pushes you around, he doesn’t like going on the float, he doesn’t stand in the tie up stalls, you’ve got to constantly walk him, it could take three people to saddle him.

“I’ve turned him around, he’s not the same horse he was but he took a while to get him that way.

“The owner took him off me and gave him to Brad Widdup and he gave him back. You know what, Brad Widdup was the first bloke who came and congratulated me.

“Hopefully we can go back-to-back and these other ones can come along and get me some more city winners.”

– Racing NSW

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