Brenton Avdulla rides Guard of Honour to victory in the Open Handicap.
Brenton Avdulla rides Guard of Honour to victory in the Open Handicap.

Water baby ‘naughty but I’ll ride him in MM’

TOBY and Trent Edmonds made a clean-sweep of the two-year-old features at the Gold Coast, with the pair hoping history repeats when Wisdom Of Water backs up in Saturday's Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

The boom youngster booked his ticket for next week when showing his true form on his home track and living up to this trials by taking out the inaugural running of the Aquis Gold Nugget (1100m, 2YO C & G).

Wisdom Of Water won two trials by big spaces early in the season, but flopped as a $1.70 favourite on debut, beaten nine lengths at Eagle Farm by Rothfire.

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Toby Edmonds said it had become a consistent theme with his horses on the new Eagle Farm track.

"My horses just go like dromedaries there. I can't train a winner at that track," he said.

He had no such problems on his home turf on Saturday, with Wisdom Of Water following Queen Kay, and Smart 'N' Sexy running the quinella in the Gold Pearl (1100m, 2YO F) a race earlier.

Wisdom Of Water does enough right to force his way into the Magic Millions Classic.
Wisdom Of Water does enough right to force his way into the Magic Millions Classic.

The stable was only narrowly denied back-to-back quinellas in the juvenile features, with Godolphin's Conceited just nailing The Drinks Cart for second in the Nugget.

All going well, Wisdom Of Water will back up next week, a feat Edmonds successfully pulled off three years ago with Houtzen.

The son of Headwater has always been regarded by the stable as its No. 1 two-year-old seed this season, but they had to be patient and give him a short break after he pulled up sore following the Eagle Farm run.

"He had three weeks off after Eagle Farm and it was a great effort by that colt to win, because he was on a thin timeline to get him here," Edmonds said.

"He has that much ability but he's naughty. He knows he's strong. He's still green and will take improvement from that."

Robbie Fradd smiles after riding Wisdom Of Water to victory.
Robbie Fradd smiles after riding Wisdom Of Water to victory.

Jockey Robbie Fradd likened Wisdom Of water to himself as a 15-year-old, agreeing with Edmonds that "he's a bit naughty".

"It's hard riding horses that are 54 years younger than you," Fradd said.

"I think next week will be better for him. He's that naughty, he's got that much shit in him, but if they want me to ride him next week I will."

Conceited was a betting ring wobbler and found himself out the back soon after the jump, before running home solidly at the end to grab second.

"He ran well," jockey Damian Lane said. "He was very nervous in the barriers and I spent a lot of time trying to get him to relax. Then no sooner had I got him to do that and he'd gone to sleep, so I had to wake him up again.

"It took him 100m to balance up. If he was two lengths closer (in the run), he wins."

Ladbrokes trimmed Wisdom Of Water to $12, while Conceited is a $10 chance to win the 2YO Classic.

Queen Kay after her narrow win over her stablemate.
Queen Kay after her narrow win over her stablemate.


FIRST starter Queen Kay denied stablemate Smart 'N' Sexy a walk-up start into next week's Magic Millions 2YO Classic when she finished best to win the inaugural running of the Gold Pearl (1100m).

Queen Kay trialled early in the season, but pulled up shinsore after winning an Eagle Farm trial in September.

Trainers Toby and Trent Edmonds put her out for a few weeks and after winning a Doomben trial last month, was good enough to dent a few Magic Millions hopes at the Gold Coast yesterday.

Queen Kay was bred and retained to race by Mark Sowerby's Emmanuel Bloodstock and was not sold at public auction.

Sowerby, a former Racing Queensland board member, said this race was viewed as an excellent opportunity to secure enough prizemoney to help qualify her for bigger races in the south over the next few months.

"It was a good tenacious win, there's a lot to come from her, she's quite new," Toby Edmonds said.

"We haven't got to the bottom of her. We drew awkward and were happy to educate her. She did the rest and with a chequered passage too."

Jockey Ryan Maloney said he believed Queen Kay would be better as a three-year-old.

"The second horse was entitled to win. I had to come from behind it and it was a really good effort to get her down," he said.

Smart 'N' Sexy is just outside the top 16 qualifiers for the 2YO Classic and now needs a few above her to go by the wayside if she is to gain a start.

Edmonds said if she did run, he would use blinkers on her.

Meeting switch pays off as Clockwise takes out the Country Cup.
Meeting switch pays off as Clockwise takes out the Country Cup.


Nathan Evans snared the biggest win of his riding career as Clockwise made up for her narrow defeat in last month's $125,000 Provincial Trial to land a race worth twice as much at the Gold Coast.

The $250,000 Magic Millions Country Cup switched from MM day to Saturday this year and Evans gave Clockwise every chance off her inside gate to wear down the well-backed Secret Spirit ($6).

The $2.25 favourite The Pines was slow away, settled fourth-last in the run and was out of play from that point, before running on at the end to finish fourth.

Trainer Tony Webb was pleased to have been able to provide Evans with a highlight moment in his career.

"I stuck with him. They're there every morning to ride trackwork and if you don't put them on you're a bit of a shit," he said.

Clockwise just missed behind Love you Lucy at Eagle Farm for Evans, which followed an eye-catching first-up fourth to Boomtown Lass at Doomben.

The mare has finished further back than fourth only once in her past 12 starts, winning four times, the latest three with Evans in the saddle.

"I'm very privileged he did stick with me. He could have put any of the Hugh Bowmans on it. He's a sticker and I love it," Evans said.

"One alley helps a lot and if you've got a horse, a lot of people can do the same.

"This is my biggest win."

Brenton Avdulla breaks Guard of Honour’s long losing streak.
Brenton Avdulla breaks Guard of Honour’s long losing streak.


A change of environment did the trick for enigmatic sprinter Guard Of Honour, who broke a 609-day losing ­sequence to land the 900m Open Handicap.

Guard Of Honour won the Bat Out of Hell over the same course in May 2018 with Damian Browne in the saddle, but failed to win at his next 11 starts.

Switched from Kris Lees to Kelly Schweida, Guard Of Honour showed he was liking his new surrounds when he trotted up in a Sunshine Coast barrier trial win last month, before running up to it on Saturday.

"He likes this track. We had given him one trial and he went good, so rather than give him a second trial we decided to run here," Schweida said.

"It looked a good race for him, especially when he drew soft."

Brenton Avdulla told Schweida Guard Of Honour "had a think about it" before having his nose in front at the right time.

"He started to get his head up a bit when he got clear air," Avdulla said.

"He was there to put the race away and he eventually put his head in front."