A horse bought by a group of Australian cricketers to honour late teammate Phillip Hughes has won on debut.
Never Out, trained by Kim Waugh whose husband Mark played 128 Tests for Australia and is now a national selector, won a 1000m maiden at Gosford on Wednesday.
The three-year-old filly’s ownership includes Mitch and Shaun Marsh who played in Australia’s recent defeat by South Africa in the first Test in Perth, as well as white-ball specialists Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch.
Former Test players Greg Blewett and Ryan Harris also have a share along with national coach Darren Lehmann’s wife Andrea and broadcaster Alan Jones.
The horse was named Never Out as a tribute to Hughes who died after he was hit by a ball while 63 not out in a Sheffield Shield match in November 2014.
“We bought the horse in memory of Phillip Hughes,” Mark Waugh told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“We got together to all buy a horse because he used to love horse racing so she might have had a bit of help today.
“I just spoke to Darren Lehmann when she went across the line so it was a good win.”
Waugh said Never Out had shown promise as a juvenile but a setback had delayed the start of her career.
“She had a bad accident in the paddock. She lost half her foot at one stage so that’s why she’s been in and out for so long,” Waugh said.
“She’s out of a fast mare so I think she’s got more to come.”