Brenton Avdulla has kicked off Sydney’s new racing season in style, riding a winning treble at the first metropolitan meeting.
Avdulla’s first two winners came with Chris Waller-trained horses Pound Sterling and Cocoexcel in the first two races at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
Sydney’s premier trainer showed no signs of slowing down in the new season, fresh from breaking his own record to train 169 winners in 2015/16.
“We’re back into it again so it’s always good to get one on the board,” Waller said.
Avdulla kept Pound Sterling ($5.50) off the rail throughout the race before moving to the inside in the straight to partner the colt to a strong maiden win in the My Boy Charlie @ Vinery Handicap (1100m).
Last season’s leading ride in NSW, Avdulla said he planned his attack after walking the heavy track before the meeting.
“I just tried to keep him near the best part of the track down the back straight and kept him comfortable and his ability shone through,” Avdulla said.
Avdulla rode the three-year-old colt during his first preparation and again in a barrier trial at Randwick in July.
“I couldn’t believe it was the same horse and made sure I let (syndicator) Denise Martin and Chris know that I wanted to stick with him wherever he went,” Avdulla said.
Avdulla picked up the ride on Cocoexcel in the second race after Rory Hutchings was unable to make the weight.
The three-year-old filly ($2.40 fav) led all the way to win by a length from Savaan ($20) with Red Hearts ($4.40) a nose away third.
Avdulla saved his best ride for last, executing another smart plan to guide the Clarry Conners-trained Conarchie to a four-length win in a 1400m benchmark handicap, his final ride for the day.
“Clarry gave me the all-clear to do what I wanted to do and I hugged that outside fence for that whole way down the back straight,” Avdulla said.
Meanwhile, Winona Costin rode her first winner as a senior rider at her first meeting since completing her apprenticeship, steering the Greg Hickman-trained Centro Superior to victory in the 1200m benchmark handicap.