Brad Widdup originally planned to send Sneaky Paige for a vet check this week, but when he couldn’t get an appointment, he sent her to the races instead.
The turn of events proved fortuitous, with the mare breaking through for an important Sydney Saturday win in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m).
A stakes placegetter, Sneaky Paige has been a source of angst for Widdup since joining his stable last year, working like a star at home but under-performing on race day.
It prompted him to consider organising a precautionary scope this week, but when the vet’s books were full, he opted to roll the dice and head to Rosehill instead.
Fuelling that decision was Sydney’s wet weather, with four of Sneaky Paige’s five wins coming on rain-affected ground.
“We actually (tried to) book her in to get dynamic scoped and we couldn’t ger her scoped,” Widdup said.
“So when the rain came, I said to the owners, ‘there is a race here, she is fit and well so we might as well race her’.
“It’s incredible how it turns out.”
While the Rosehill track had improved to a good 4 by the time Sneaky Paige ($19) raced, Widdup was convinced the residual give in the ground was enough for her to turn her form around.
In a close finish, she held out Meritable ($13) by a head with $1.30 favourite Time To Boogie also in her wake, another half-length away.
Her victory continued jockey Kerrin McEvoy’s good start to the year with Sneaky Paige his tenth winner since January 1.
“My tally of winners is up compared to any other month in the last twelve or eighteen months, so I’m happy with that,” McEvoy said.
“I had a couple of lean patches there earlier in the season, but it is a matter of sticking to your guns.
“I’m still enjoying my riding and having a lot of fun.”
– RAS NewsWire