Emerging Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup rang in the new year with his first win at Royal Randwick.

Promising four-year-old mare Witches was steered to victory by Christian Reith in race four on the January 1 card - the benchmark 70 Tattersalls Club Handicap over 1200m - in what was her first start for Widdup.

Some eight lengths off the leaders at the 600m mark, Witches ran down $2.50 favourite Pirapala to win by by a head in 1:09.59.

“Going back through her form, I knew she was a strong finisher and I wasn’t too concerned [at the 600 mark],” Widdup said. “Earlier in the day I watched the races and they were all making up ground, so that made it a bit easier.

“Obviously to win my first race at Randwick was a big thrill. It was a great win.”

It was also the mare’s first start under the ownership of Dynamic Syndications, having been purchased from Widdup’s former employer, Goldolphin, in August last year.

“A win at Royal Randwick on New Year’s Day with a mare having her first start under our ownership was certainly special to a large group of owners who were on hand to cheer their mare home,” Dynamic Syndications stated.


Widdup also has preparations well underway for runners in the $10 million Magic Millions Raceday, taking place on January 13 at Gold Coast Turf Club.

Two-year-old Exceed and Excel filly, Witherspoon, has had two promising starts since travelling to Queensland in December, and Widdup is hopeful she secures a berth in the $2 million Magic Millions 2yo Classic.

Her biggest payday came on December 30 with a place in the group three $200,000 Magic Millions B.J. McLachlan at Doomben over 1200 metres on December 30.

“Obviously we planned to take her up there to try and qualify for the Magic Millions, we haven’t done that yet but she ran two great races up there,” Widdup said. 

“It was unlucky that she wasn’t already qualified, things didn’t go our way, but I was rapt at the way she went and hopefully in the next week we will know if we get a run or not.

“If we don't it’s been a good learning curve. It’s just good to have runners up there trying to qualify and get into the race.”

Also running on January 13 is Junglized, the four-year-old  Snitzel gelding that has qualified for the Magic Millions Country Cup offering a purse of $260,000.

“He probably struggles at the 1200 but he’s qualified for the race, it’s good money, and might be his last chance to run in that sort of race so we’ll give it a go,” Widdup said.

Suspenders, Widdup’s first city winner, will also start in the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares race over 1300 metres.

“She was bought through the sale as well. It’s a million-dollar fillies and mares race, so she’s been going well enough to have a crack at it,” he said.