Jarrod Austin-trained mare Spinnawitch continued her excellent return from a lengthy lay-off on Saturday when winning the Listed $100,000 2012 Winter Challenge (1600m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
It was the first black-type victory of Spinnawitch’s career, who returned to racing two weeks ago after nearly 14 months out with injury.
Austin, who took over training duties a year ago from owner Denise McGrath, was over the moon with the result.
“This is a great thrill. My heart is thumping,” Austin said.
The rising six-year-old produced an excellent finish to reel in more fancied rival Forty Thirty and go on to win by nearly a length.
Austin was always confident the daughter of Country Reel would perform and highlighted the Newcastle Cup as a potential future target.
“With this mare we were quietly confident,” Austin said.
“We thought it was a pretty good Listed race for her.”
Despite her age, Spinnawitch is lightly raced for just 14 starts, having recorded victory three times and placing on another five occasions.
Runner-up Forty Thirty continued his conistent winter form, having finished in the top three in his seven most recent starts.
Sydney trainer David Payne predicted Winning Glory would return to form after a disappointing last-start effort and he performed solidly to finish in third position.
The win capped an excellent day for Austin, who celebrated earlier in the day when promising colt Urquidez saluted in the $85,000 Nissan Micra Sprint (1100m).
“This has been an awesome day,” Austin said.
Austin said he would look towards the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes with the rising three-year-old but is expecting him to really excel next autumn.
“We will give him another couple of runs this time in and we have always thought he would make a better autumn three-year-old,” Austin said.
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Winter Challenge 2012 – Results
|1||10||SPINNAWITCH||Jarrod Austin||Blake Shinn||–||5||54kg||$5.50|
|2||7||FORTY THIRTY||Clinton McDonald||Chad Schofield (a)||0.8L||4||54kg||$5.50|
|3||5||WINNING GLORY (NZ)||David Payne||Nathan Berry||1.2L||1||55kg||$4.60F|
|4||2||IRISH DREAM||Ron Quinton||Glyn Schofield||1.7L||8||55.5kg||$6|
|5||4||EREWHON||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||1.8L||3||55kg||$6|
|6||6||WORLD WIDE||Bede Murray||Corey Brown||2.5L||6||54kg||$11|
|7||1||KING LIONHEART||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||2.6L||2||59kg||$7|
|8||9||OUR PRIDE AND JOY||Mick Price||Brenton Avdulla||6.1L||7||54kg||$26|