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A bumper ten race card has been set down for Newcastle on Saturday, headlined by the $1 Million The Hunter (1300m). The weather is fine, the track is soft (5) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

The Hunter 🏆: View the Field and Odds for The Hunter

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Race 1. (12:20) Max Lees Classic 900m

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Tricky race to kick off the program. I’m leaning towards 4 Vancouver’s Crown (Bet Now: $4.60 TOP ODDS), on debut for Jason Coyle. He looked to move very well when winning a Warwick Farm trial under a hold from Kathy O’Hara. The time was slow for the morning, but sometimes you just have to trust your eye, and to my eye, he moves very well.


3 Lord Of The Hunter (Bet Now: $6.00 TOP ODDS) has raceday experience and J Mac on, so he has a bit going for him. Odds on when debuting over 900m at Muswellbrook. Just did a bit too much work on speed and felt the pinch late when nabbed near the peg. More economical run, he can win.

Long Shot

5 Excursion (Bet Now: $10.00 TOP ODDS) has the Royal Blue silks and they always have to be respected in juvenile races. This filly is on debut off the back of two trials. Nothing to get excited about visually, but gate one and two trials is a good enough base to suggest she’ll run well. Definite threat.

Race 2. (12:55) Te Akau Nz-aust-singapore-bm78 1600m

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2 Ma And Pa (Bet Now: $2.20 TOP ODDS) is a beauty for Chris Waller. There is nothing flash about the way he wins. But he just does it from the front, he finds under pressure and fend them off. 4/4 this prep, the latest being two weeks ago at Rosehill. Bit harder here, but hard to knock the way he’s going about it.


Beware the unlucky runner in an even race. That is the case with 10 Sacred Command (Bet Now: $3.70 TOP ODDS). Can easily make a case to say he should have won at Canterbury last time but had no clear air in the straight when seemingly full of running. The race was nothing to jump up and down about, so be wary. He can win, but I’d want double figures before entertaining him.

Long Shot

6 Charmmebaby (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) is a talented mare for the Milligan camp that deserves another look at the mile. Last run at the mile was last run last prep when a tired horse in The Coast. Last start saw her finish best late to win the Jungle Juice Cup on the Beaumont track here. She’s racing like the mile suits and is in with a shout.

Race 3. (13:30) Tab Highway Hcp (c3) 1300m

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5 Casino Kid (Bet Now: $6.00 TOP ODDS) is bursting to win a Highway this prep and I think he gets his chance here. His run was excellent at Rosehill two weeks ago. He got a mile back in the run and was forced quite wide on the turn, and at Rosehill, getting as wide as he did, it’s just a no go zone. Won’t mind give in the track, fitter, talent…he’ll do me.


Paul Messara at metro level I avoid but 2 Ceasefire (Bet Now: $4.60 TOP ODDS) is a likely type and is getting close to winning. Outclassed fresh in the Kosciuszko. Then went to the Highway a fortnight back at Rosehill and ran a much improved race when a narrow second to Brave Enough. Hard fit, he’ll take beating.

Long Shot

13 Shelby Sixtysix (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS) has always threatened to measure up at Highway level and now she’s in form, and J Mac steering, the set up is there to suggest she runs well. I was on her back last start at Albury and I think you could easily make a case to say she wins had she got a clear path in the straight. Better luck this time around and a win wouldn’t shock.

Race 4. (14:05) Sage Painting Midway (bm72) 1600m

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I like 8 Cream Rises (Bet Now: $4.80 TOP ODDS) here. Kylie Gavenlock trained four year old that comes through the Four Pillars from two weeks ago at Rosehill and he was a real eye catcher nearer the inside behind Kiss Sum. Visually and on the clock, it was a good run. Helped by a potential bias towards those nearer the inside? Perhaps, but bit of juice in the track, up to the mile, he’s hard to beat.


4 Tampering (Bet Now: $4.50 TOP ODDS) has a good second up record and is a proven Midway performer. Resumed off a let up in the Four Pillars and was there to win, but just couldn’t quite finish the race off when fifth, beaten just under two lengths. Doesn’t want the track too wet, but he’s hard to beat on form.

Long Shot

9 Prospero (Bet Now: $51.00 TOP ODDS) was down to run on Wednesday at Hawkesbury but with that meeting abandoned, he runs here. Resumed on the Beaumont track here in the Jungle Juice Cup and worked home pretty well from off the sped behind Charmmebaby. Reckon he might want one more, but should be strong at the end.

Race 5. (14:40) Alf Kneebone Trans Tasman-bm88 1850m

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4 Lord Ardmore (Bet Now: $3.80) is progressive and heading in the right direction for Chris Waller. Plenty of merit in his run two back behind Ruby Tuesday. Backed up a week later at Rosehill, got a lovely ride from Magorrian and was just too tough late for Mightybeel. He’s got more to come you would assume and can win again.


3 Mightybeel (Bet Now: $2.10) deserves another chance. He just lost sight of the bunny at Rosehill last time. Spotted those in front way too much head start and had too much chasing to do when second to Lord Ardmore. Put together a couple of strong wins prior, so he has credits in the bank to deserve another chance.

Long Shot

Fitness certainly won’t be an issue for 2 Milk Man (Bet Now: $6.50). Strong win two back on a testing Warwick Farm track. Then went to Eagle Farm in what was a brutally run mile and in survival of the fittest, he came up on top. Won’t mind give in the track and for mine, only runs well.

Race 6. (15:20) The Beauford 2300m

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4 King’s Charisma (Bet Now: $4.20) is hard to beat here. He was the subject of good market support in the Hotham and on the turn, loomed big time as a winning threat, but couldn’t quite finish it off and tired late behind Great House. Respect the market support last time and stable is in form.


3 Kiss The Bride (Bet Now: $5.00) looks hard to beat here. Close up third two back at Randwick behind Soldier Of Love. Then went to the Rosehill Gold Cup and closed off his race with real purpose when third to Think It Over. He has won up to 2400m, so the trip is no issue and a bit of juice in the track is perfect. He’s the pony for me.

Long Shot

6 Torrens (Bet Now: $7.50) is loving life under Lauri Parker. He lapped up the brutal tempo of the City Tatts Cup three weeks back at Randwick and under a sweet steer from Jenny Duggan, the horse was much too good for his rivals. If that hasn’t busted him, he’ll take beating here.

Race 7. (16:00) Spring Stakes 1600m

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6 Contributingfactor (Bet Now: $8.50) is a very progressive animal for David Atkins and confident he can measure up here. Strong winner at this track/distance last time out in what was more or less a barrier trial. They walked in front and came home in a tick over 33, and for a horse of this class, they can’t go much faster. Unbeaten at the track, he’s a winner and has upside whereas some of these are likely looking for the paddock.


4 Arnaqueur (Bet Now: $6.50) has the engine under the hood to take this out. Problem for him is that he is a few sandwiches short of a picnic upstairs. He has no idea what he is doing but when the penny does drop, he will win races. It could well be here given the form around him and how strong it reads.

Long Shot

3 Holstein (Bet Now: $14.00) is an improver for Matty Dunn. He was unwanted in betting at Randwick on Cup Day but he kept finding late under pressure, just wearing down Lease to score a surprise win. He had excuses in the runs prior, so now he has a win on the board, he could go on with it.

Race 8. (16:40) The Hunter 1300m

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If you were watching on Monday night, you would have heard Annabel Neasham talk about 2 Top Ranked (Bet Now: $5.50), and the way she was talking, the rest of this field may as well not bother turning up. She said everything bar declare him. His overseas form is top shelf, he looked sharp in a jumpout, he has J Mac, good draw, and the big tick, the market wants him.


1 Lost And Running (Bet Now: $2.60) is the one to beat, quite clearly, on form. Question being can he win with topweight on testing ground. He brings the A1 form, running fourth in The Everest and then a very good second in the Classique Legend. He brings that, he likely wins. Do I want to take the odds on offer? No. But he’s hard to beat.

Long Shot

15 Wandabaa (Bet Now: $34.00) is on the seven day back up after racing last Saturday in the Hot Danish. She was only second up against hard fit/in form mares and didn’t disgrace herself at all I thought behind Electric Girl. On her home track, hard fit now and with juice in the track, she’s right in this as a knockout chance.

Race 9. (17:20) Pfd Food Services (bm78) 1400m

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Beware the unbeaten horse. 11 Norwegian Bliss (Bet Now: $3.40) is 3/3 to start her career so keen to see how she goes at Saturday level. This meeting last year was a bludger for Nathan Doyle and he comes back 12 months on with another promising animal. Strong win from her at the midweeks at Canterbury. Dominant win the start prior here, and on wet ground, so rain about won’t hurt her cause.


7 Grande Rumore (Bet Now: $4.60) looks well placed here. Kris Lees trained mare that comes here with fresh legs, having not raced since October 13 when struggling to pick her feet up over the mile at Warwick Farm behind the in form Milk Man. Tick over trial was a good piece of work. Just doesn’t want it too wet.

Long Shot

8 Pippali (Bet Now: $10.00) is in with a shout here at odds. I thought she ran well two weeks back at Rosehill off a slow speed, working to the line strongly when second to the in form Ma And Pa. Likely gets a soft run once again and back to Mares grade, she’s well placed to run another positive race.

Race 10. (18:00) Hunter Valley Prem. Meats-bm88 1300m

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Getting his toe into the track, it’s last chance territory for 6 Gravina (Bet Now: $2.30). Everything was in place for him three weeks ago at Randwick and to the eye, he seemingly had every chance when third to Quantico. That form has clearly been franked, and I do think this horse is best when allowed to get his feet wet.


1 Brutality (Bet Now: $41.00) is in for a good prep I feel. Couple of trials to get ready for his return three weeks ago at Randwick. He just needed the run given he was fresh at 1200m on dry ground. Fitter, and the big tick for him is getting his toe. He’s one of the better swimmers in Sydney and I think only runs well at odds.

Long Shot

7 Pandano (Bet Now: $18.00) won’t mind some give in the track, so I could entertain him as a knockout chance. Didn’t exactly set the world on fire at Randwick last time but the race shape was against him. Better suited here on his home track with a bit of rain about, so an improved showing is on the cards.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Ten Number 6 Gravina

NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 5 Casino Kid

LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 6 Contributingfactor


Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One: 3, 4, 6, 7

Leg Two: 1, 2, 6, 7, 15

Leg Three: 4, 7, 8, 11

Leg Four: 6

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