Popular Hawkesbury trainer Jason Attard took his two best gallopers to Royal Randwick last Saturday and nearly pulled off a rare city double, winning the final event, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (1400m), with well-backed Kellyville Flyer.
Enjoying his best season so far, Attard clinched his 16th success of the racing year and nearly celebrated a city double.
The seven-year-old mare’s younger six-year-old brother Sons Of John finished gamely into second placing behind Top Of My List in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m).
Supported by wife Lucy, a former trackwork rider for Chris Waller, they are starting to see the fruits of their labour with Kellyville Flyer aimed for the XXXX Gold Stand Alone Saturday meeting, a little over a week away.
Attard is setting his sights on Saturday week’s $200,000 Group 3 Livamol Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) – a race he won two years ago with Sons Of John.
“I hope it stays wet; she is pretty effective on rain-affected ground,” he said.
Kellyville Flyer was unplaced in a Benchmark 77 Handicap (1500m) at the corresponding Hawkesbury fixture 12 months ago on a good surface. But she is clearly now in the best form of her career, having run an excellent first-up third to subsequent Doncaster Mile runner-up Happy Clapper in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket (1400m) last month prior to Saturday's triumph.
The Stand Alone meeting is shaping up as one of the best in its twelfth year, as the Blacktown Workers Guineas also promises to be an excellent contest, with locals Spright and Generalissimo leading the charge, against last Thursday's impressive winner Bye See, for the Michael Tubman-Kathy O'Hara combination who have continued on the success from her dam, the ill-fated Chance Bye.
Fellow Hawkesbury trainers Wade Slinkard and Martin McInerney celebrated Easter victories at their home track meeting last Thursday, continuing the great strike rate of Hawkesbury trainers on their home track.