Rosehill win would be a tonic for trainer Brad Widdup

Brad Widdup heads to Rosehill with one proven campaigner and two young talents on the rise.

A week after talented mare Tintookie suffered a fatal race day injury, trainer Brad Widdup will head back to Rosehill with three stakes runners who he hopes can give his stable a timely boost.

Tintookie had to be euthanased after breaking down in the Birthday Card Stakes last Saturday, her jockey Kerrin Mcevoy suffering a displaced spinal fracture in the incident, an injury that will sideline him for up to two months.

While still grappling with the loss of the Group 3 winner, Widdup says he has been touched by the number of people who have reached out.

“It was a bit of a shock. She had been such a straightforward horse,” Widdup said.

“A lot of people have sent messages to say how much they followed her, families, people from everywhere and that was an eye-opener for me. I didn’t realise.”

Widdup is hoping for a pick-me-up from at least one of his Rosehill runners on Saturday, Phearson in the Doncaster Prelude (1500m) and three-year-olds Piplup and High Dandy in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and Tulloch Stakes (2000m) respectively.

A gutsy first-up winner of the Liverpool City Cup (1300m) two starts ago, Phearson felt the effects of that performance when enduring another tough run to finish down the track in the Ajax Stakes (1500m).

Widdup says the gelding has no sense of self-preservation but loves racing and has bounced out of his most recent run.

“He had a tough first-up run and gave himself another tough run as well, but he only knows one way,” Widdup said.

“He’s not a heavy horse so I’m very mindful of it, but most horses can’t do what he does, how he treats himself. He doesn’t give himself an easy day, but he does look great.”

Both Piplup and High Dandy rise to black-type level after posting impressive maiden wins, Piplup outstaying a mare who had placed behind the promising Wymark at its previous start.

Widdup is hoping to see his filly doing her best work late when she takes on the likes of Orchestral and Zardozi on Saturday and if she is, Piplup will continue on towards the ATC Australian Oaks (2400m).

“You want to go and watch her maiden win. You don’t see it very often, she came from the tail of the field, circled them and it was her first run at 2000 and second run of her preparation,” Widdup said.

“I haven’t had a filly like this since I’ve started training. She appears to be a real stayer.”

High Dandy led and showed superior stamina to score by almost five lengths over 1600m at Wyong, earning himself a shot at the Tulloch Stakes and possibly the Derby.

“This time of year these races are here, they’re only once a year and you’ve got to have a bit of a go,” Widdup said.

“He’s going to be a nice horse for us, and the sire is going super, Ace High.”

In a big afternoon for the trainer, Widdup will also have Ausbred Flirt contesting the Provincial-Midway Qualifier at Wyong as she bids to join stablemates Short Shorts and Ruby Flyer in next month’s Final at Randwick.

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