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Hawkesbury News January 25


MONDAY: January 25, 2016: AUSTRALIA Day has come early for Hawkesbury trainers Tony McEvoy and Nick Mitchell.

Each won a race yesterday at Wyong’s annual meeting  which celebrates Australia Day and featured many family activities for racegoers.

McEvoy scored with favorite Daisy Duke early in proceedings, whilst Mitchell gave bookmakers a nice result when his representative Rutherglen upset odds-on fancy Starzel in the final event.

McEvoy made a number of gear changes on Daisy Duke ($2.60), who made an impressive return to racing in the Maiden Handicap (1200m) against her own sex.

But not before she was examined at the start by the club’s veterinary surgeon and given the all-clear after sustaining a small cut to her tongue.

Jockey Brenton Avdulla, who clinched the opening two races, had the four-year-old mare away smartly and gave her the run of the race.

Daisy Duke surged past leader Satirical Dame on straightening and went right on with the job, easily defeating  Peter and Paul Snowden stable pair Majestic Faith ($2.90) and Eva Luna ($5.50).

A daughter of Northern Meteor, Daisy Duke yesterday was having only her third start, and her first since finishing second at odds-on to Newcastle mare Hazy Blur in a Provincial & Country Maiden (1300m) at Hawkesbury in August.

She won a Rosehill trial (1030m) on January 4 on a heavy track to ready her for yesterday’s first-up assignment.

Wyong mare Starzel ($1.90) was all the rage for the Class 2 Handicap (1600m), but couldn’t match the Mitchell-prepared Rutherglen ($13) and folded to finish fifth after leading.

In the process, Mitchell brought off a splendid training performance as his winner was having only his second start since April, 2014 when successful in a Benchmark 60 Handicap (1400m).

Rutherglen subsequently switched stables, joining Mitchell’s Hawkesbury team for this new campaign.

He resumed when down the track on a heavy surface in a Benchmark 71 Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm on January 7, and took plenty of improvement from that first outing after such a lengthy layoff.

Talented apprentice Andrew Adkins rode the five-year-old patiently yesterday, settling him in fourth place on the fence in the small field of seven.

When produced, Rutherglen challenged strongly in the straight before being headed by Dubrovnik ($6).

But he would not surrender and fought back to edge out that horse, notching his third success at his 11th start.