The emergence of trainer Brad Widdup has continued with Sandbar’s win in the Lonhro Plate at Warwick Farm which almost certainly guarantees the colt a start in the Golden Slipper 2018.
Widdup, an ex-Godolphin foreman, trains primarily for Damion Flower’s Jadeskye operation with the pair joining forces at Hawkesbury in May last year.
A debut winner at Canterbury last month, Sandbar ($8) tracked the leader Oxford Tycoon ($6.50) in Saturday’s 1100m sprint and was strong to the line to hold off the favourite Satin Slipper ($3.40) by a long head.
Oxford Tycoon held third another three-quarters of a length away.
The Listed race win was also a first at stakes level for Widdup.
“He has a great attitude and really dug deep,” Widdup said.
“He has still got improvement to come and there are plenty of options for him heading to the Slipper.
“That win probably puts him in the field so we can take our time to pick our next race.”
Sandbar’s jockey Christian Reith was equally enamoured.
“He is a very nice horse and I think a lot of people under–rated him,” Reith said.
“But he had to turn up on race day and do it.
“He changed legs at one stage but he does it at trackwork so it didn’t surprise me.”
The $650,000 colt is by champion sire Snitzel who was raced by Flower.
Sandbar was bred by John Singleton who retains a share along with Neil Werrett, the owner of Black Caviar.