Hawkesbury Trainers Celebrate Career Firsts

Hawkesbury trainers Brad Widdup and Wayne Austin had a day they will never forget when each clinched a career first on July 29.

Hawkesbury Trainers Celebrate Career Firsts

Hawkesbury trainers Brad Widdup and Wayne Austin had a day they will never forget when each clinched a career first on July 29.

Widdup celebrated a breakthrough metropolitan victory at Rosehill Gardens and Austin recorded the inaugural winner of his career at Gosford.

Whilst both are relative newcomers to the training ranks they are experienced horsemen who know the ropes.

Widdup took out his licence only a couple of months ago and set up shop at Hawkesbury.

Austin is based at he and his wife Penny’s Jarrara Park property at East Kurrajong and takes his horses to the track at Hawkesbury for gallops when necessary.

Suspenders Picture:Racing and Sports

Widdup scored with Suspenders Horseform at Rosehill for his main backer Damion Flower who influenced him to take out his training licence.

Aside from his initial city success there was extra pleasure in the result as Widdup’s brother-in-law Christian Reith rode the filly.

Widdup has had a fantastic start to his career, winning with his debut starter Junglized at Canberra on May 26.

And he’s had quite a week, scoring also with Za Zi Ba at Wyong last Tuesday and Chilcotin at Canberra on Friday.

Suspenders was his 15th runner and his fifth winner – and Reith has been aboard all of them.

“This (city win) has been a bit quicker than I expected, but it’s fantastic,” a delighted Widdup said afterwards.

“I’m especially pleased for Damion (Flower), who has put a lot of trust in me.”

Widdup had spent the last decade as an integral member of global giant Godolphin’s Sydney team, and made the decision in April to go out on his own, training out of Flower’s Platinum Park set-up at Hawkesbury.

Austin scored with $21 chance My Burning Heart in a Maiden Plate (1600m) for owners Phillip and Megan Gely.

Austin has been training for only a couple of seasons, and until Saturday had registered 12 placings (10 of them this season).

“I strapped My Burning Heart Horseform as well; it was a terrific thrill to get my first winner,” Austin said. “She is a filly who has a very sensitive mouth and has to be carefully managed.

“She goes out in a paddock during the day and is boxed at night.

“My Burning Heart has taken time to understand how to take up the bit in her races, but she keeps improving and I think she can go on to at least prove herself in midweek class in town.”

Austin has 12 horses in work at Jarrara Park, an equine training centre in the Hawkesbury Valley specialising in breaking-in and educating racehorses and performance horses.

“We have also had a lot of success reforming horses who were sent to us with behavioural issues,” he said.

“It’s a great team effort. My wife Penny is an outstanding horsewoman with tremendous experience as a three-day event rider and our staff do a wonderful job.”

Austin worked in many parts of the world and locally with performance horses, and his late father Allan represented Australia at polo.

He has done a superb job with Duporth filly My Burning Heart, who ran last in her first barrier trial in June last year, and also last at her first start at Hawkesbury 12 months ago when beaten nearly 22 lengths.

“I’m over 50 now and decided a couple of years ago I would have a go at training,” he said.

“We’ve got a predominantly young team, the oldest being a four-year-old who has just come from a tendon injury.

“I’m really pleased with a Star Witness filly (Whitney’s Star), who is raced in the same interests as My Burning Heart.

“She is a rising three-year-old who trialled nicely at Hawkesbury last Monday.”

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