Brown's Classic Win After Two Decades Of Trying

BARGO trainer Neville Brown reckons he "was due" to win the Group 3 Ladbrokes Nowra Puppy Classic (520m) after two decades of trying.

David Brasch

24 April 2022

BARGO trainer Nev Brown reckons he “was due” to win the Group 3 Ladbrokes Nowra Puppy Classic (520m).

He’s been trying to win it for the past 20 years.

Nev did just that on Saturday night when My Mate Kate (Mepunga Blazer-Katie The Weapon) led throughout to score in 29.96 by half-a-length over Flighty Fernando with a length and a quarter to Cumbria Days in third.

It was her seventh win in 18 starts and the $40,000 winner’s purse brought her stakes tally to $52,000.

Nev harked back to March 13, 2010 when he had Tuiaki as the $1.10 favourite to win the Nowra Puppy Classic final, and kennelmate Swift Fancy the $1.20 favourite to win the Group 2 Richmond Derby on the same night.

“I got up that morning with two of the hottest favourites to win Group finals,” said Nev. “I sent a mate off to Nowra with Tuiaki and I took Swift Fancy to Richmond.

“Swift Fancy had nine-tenths on the rest of the field after the heats.

“I came home with $200 unplaced money.

“Swift Fancy cracked a wrist and finished fifth behind Bogie Brave. He had to retire to stud after just one more start.

“And, Tuiaki copped more checks than a bank teller and finished fourth behind Tasman Boy.”

Tuiaki went on to win 23 races during his career and would also have a stud career.

Nev was confident of success with My Mate Kate if she could lead.

“I thought the favourite, Rio Bhodi, was a certainty if he began, but he didn’t and when my bitch led, she was always going to be hard to run down,” he said.

Nev has been breeding from the damline for three generations buying granddam Joy The Weapon (Talk’s Cheap-Shireen’s Habit) a half sister to Tuiaki.

He bred Katie The Weapon (Swift Fancy-Joy The Weapon), winner of seven races but a Group class stayer at Wentworth Park, and put her to Mepunga Blazer.

“All the litter can run but it was obvious very early on that they needed time which I was happy to give them,” said Nev. “That’s why I have raced them sparingly until they turned two.”

Nev plans to head My Mate Kate and litter sister Aim For Aria to the Group 3 Ladies Bracelet series coming up at Wentworth Park.

“Both of them had a post to post at Wentworth Park when they were babies,” said Nev. “But the fact it is an age restricted series is in their favour.”

Litter brother Sombrero was also in the Puppy Classic final on Saturday night but pulled up with a wrist strain and will have time off.

But, litter brother War Weapon heads to the semis of the Million Dollar Chase.

Nev believes My Mate Kate might develop into a stayer in the future.

“Of course you never know until you try them,” he said.

My Mate Kate’s second mother Joy The Weapon won three races including a 720m at Wentworth Park. Her mother, Shireen’s Habit, was a litter sister to Crazy Jo the second mother to leading stud dog Zambora Brockie.