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Bargain Buys Fire to Give Hughes Stable a Double
Wulguru trainer Graham Hughes continued his great run of success with bargain buys when Wanna Tweet and Ashton Blair landed him a winning double at Cluden Park yesterday.
The two stablemates won in successive races to give Hughes a big result and cap a huge day for home town horses who won seven of the nine races.
Hughes has been training a small string of horses for family and friends on and off for 47 years with his wife Di.
“I thought we had some good chances, if everything broke right and it did,” Hughes said.
“They’ve all been running well but haven’t had a lot of luck.
“Wanna Tweet is an honest mare and she was unlucky the other day and Ashton Blair at his last start ran into Bustedup which is flying.
“We don’t pay a lot for our horses but we’ve had a pretty good run.
“Dordogne has been the best of them in recent times. He was a $8,500 horse and he’s won nine races. He’s been very good to us and has the run of the place.
“Wanna Tweet was a cheap horse too. I bought her with my son Jason and she’s turning out to be handy for us.
“We only have six or so in work so a day like today is a great result for us.
“I love training them and it keeps me pretty active,”
Hughes started training in Townsville at age 20 and tasted his first major success in 1981 when Prince Lonely gained a start as a third emergency and won the Cleveland Bay Hcp with then leading apprentice Troy Brandenburg in the saddle.
He also won a Cairns Cup with Calpurnica.
But today’s two winners weren’t always in the bag.
Ashton Blair, with Nathan Day aboard, survived a late drive by Star Banner to win by a nose in a thrilling finish to the Sports Bar Open Hcp (1200m).
Wanna Tweet threw a spanner in the works when she missed the start, but recovered under jockey Nathan Thomas, to go on and record a strong win in the C.U.B. Cl3 Hcp (1000m).
The win gave Thomas the second leg of a winning double after earlier scoring on Funky Music in the Hygain Open Hcp (1000m) for trainer Gary Dickson.
Jockey Graham Kliese was also on song with a winning double.
Kliese had an armchair ride on the Terry Butts-trained Proximate Cause which streeted the opposition in the Brown Brothers Mdn Hcp (1000m).
He then came with a late charge on Hell Of A Boy to win the K & B Cleaning Cl1 Hcp (1200m) for the Tony Comerford stable.
Trainer Chris Attard pulled the right reign with lightly raced Chyna Express when he opted to run the QTIS 3yo Hcp (1000m) rather than the QTIS Mdn over 1200m.
Chyna Express, with Denny Smith in the saddle, just lasted to win at 30s by a half head over Vienna Cruise.
The Rod Miller-trained Santa Marinella finished powerfully to win the QTIS Mdn (1200m) after enduring a wide run.
Pictured: Graham and Di Hughes and team celebrating Wanna Tweet’s win at Cluden.
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