Brad Widdup Looking To Local Cup Meeting

Trainer Brad Widdup will be keeping watch on the weather as he prepares handy mare Ausbred Flirt for the Hawkesbury Gold Cup on her home track.

Widdup has Ausbred Flirt nominated in the $250,000 Group 3 event over 1600 metres and also has a number of other horses entered for the program.

The Hawkesbury meeting is the NSW metropolitan fixture this Saturday and also features the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas, Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown and the Listed Hawkesbury Gold Rush.

A Group 3 placegetter in the Angst Stakes last spring and an unlucky fifth in the $2 million The Invitation, Ausbred Flirt has raced three times this preparation with her most recent outing a sixth in the $1 million Provincial-Midway Championships Final at Randwick.

“She’s a handy horse but she does need things to go her way,” Widdup said.

“She definitely needs a dry track.”

Ausbred Flirt began this campaign with a sixth in the Guy Walter Stakes then won a Provincial-Midway Championships Qualifier at Wyong before taking her place in the Final at Randwick.

“She’s had a mixed preparation,” Widdup said.

“First-up in the Guy Walter she reared and hit her head in the gates and she did a good job to get as close as she did, really.

“She won the Provincial Championships race (at Wyong) going a month between runs and then things didn’t fall her way in the final.

“She likes firm going and we got a soft track. She copped a bit of a bump at the top of the straight which probably cost her finishing a little bit closer.

“I think she’s going OK but to it’s not easy to win a Hawkesbury Cup these days.

“Hopefully we can get a nice week and she gets in the race and draws well, I’m sure she’ll run well.”

Ausbred Flirt was one of 29 entries for the Hawkesbury Gold Cup, alongside the likes of Light Infantry Man, Detonator Jack, El Bodegon, Nugget and Widdup’s other nomination, noted wet-tracker Ruby Flyer.

Widdup has nominated Short Shorts for both the Hawkesbury Crown and a benchmark race on the undercard while lightly raced filly Hasty Honey is nominated for the Hawkesbury Guineas.

Unlike Ausbred Flirt, Hasty Honey has shown she can handle wet ground having won at Kembla two starts ago before finishing third in the Group 3 James H B Carr Stakes (1400m) at a rain-sodden Randwick on April 20.

“She likes a wet track,” Widdup said.

“Ideally it would have been lovely to take a sit the other day instead of leading. She still hasn’t put it together but she’s stakes placed now. If she drew a gate and got the right sort of run she’d be competitive.”

Widdup’s other possible Hawkesbury runner is Fire Lane, who is entered for both the $200,000 Gold Rush (1100m) and the benchmark 78 handicap.

– RAS NewsWire

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