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Craig Newitt will ride Observational in the Warrnambool Cup

A suspension to Tom Sadler has opened the door for Craig Newitt to chase another country feature win on in-form Observational in the Warrnambool Cup.

Newitt rode the John Sadler-trained Observational to a last-to-first victory in the Listed Golden Mile at Bendigo two starts ago when the gelding had a weight below Tom Sadler’s range.

Sadler got back aboard last start to win the Group Three Easter Cup at Caulfield but a suspension at Sandown last week ruled him out of the ride in Thursday’s $200,000 Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m).

Newitt said he had been booked to ride Self Sense in the Warrnambool Cup before being told that horse had been sidelined with injury.

“So I was left without a ride but then Johnny rang me and told me Tom had been suspended,” Newitt said.

“So it was a good pick-up for me.”

Observational is on the second line of betting at $4.40 behind High Church who is at $3.50 to give trainer Darren Weir his fourth straight Warrnambool Cup win.

Newitt was impressed by Observational’s win at Bendigo and despite another rise in distance from his Easter Cup success, the jockey is confident the gelding will be hard to beat on Thursday.

The Warrnambool Cup is one of the features on the final day of the three-day carnival, with the track rated a heavy (8) for Tuesday’s opening meeting.

“Our biggest concern was whether he would get through the genuine heavy track because he’s never really been on it, but the way the track looks at the moment, it doesn’t look that bad,” Newitt said.

“So I’d expect him to be very hard to beat.

“I think there’s only two or three chances in the race.

“I think there’s quite a few making up the numbers but my bloke will be genuinely hard to beat.”

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