Newcastle will host their biggest raceday this friday where it is Newcastle Cup, with the 2300m feature being supported by three other blacktype events. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:50) Macka's Soil & Sand Handicap (64) 2300m
2 Ocean Walzer (Bet Now: $3.10) for me. Former German galloper who has taken his time to show his true colours in Australia but he finally got the maiden win out of the way last time at Swan Hill over 2100m, starting short odds and winning accordingly, attacking the line with purpose in a good sign despite doing a bit wrong. Hopefully the trip away will sharpen him up.
3 Chain Of Fools (Bet Now: $2.35) is a WaterBott trained mare who is on the quick back up after racing over 2400m at Randwick last Wednesday where she got back against the bias and tried hard to reel in Cormac, but that horse was nearer the inside and the bias got him home. She can be hot and cold at times, but now she’s found form, hopefully she can hold it.
1 Whangamata (Bet Now: $9.00) is a progressive stayer who had been bursting to win a maiden for some time but it finally came around just under three weeks back at this track/distance where he had the suck run near the speed before edging off the fence, dashing clear and holding a safe margin to beat a bunch of scrubs. Harder here, but he’s hard fit and is in winning form.
Race 2. (13:25) Simplott Partners Handicap (Class 2) 1600m
The signs are there that 2 Girl Tuesday (Bet Now: $1.55) is a very good mare. Hopefully she can confirm that. Debuted over 1400m here a tick under three weeks back and produced one of the better debuts in recent times with a barnstorming effort from the back to win, most notably the last 150m where she savaged the line. Bred to be a beauty. Looks to have the ability.
1 So Bizarre (Bet Now: $4.20) is a Tracey Bartley trained gelding who is in good form this time in. Won pretty well I thought last time out on Wyong Cup Day over 1300m when leading all the way and despite getting the wobbles late, he clung on. The mile is the obvious query but looks as if he’ll get a good run on speed.
5 Chosen Prince (Bet Now: $10.00) is a lightly raced Choisir gelding trained by the in form David Atkins team who comes back to the mile after racing over 1850m here last time Digger had him up on speed in a change of tactics and to an extent it worked but he was no match late for the in form Scratches, who has placed in town subsequent. That should toughen him up for this.
Race 3. (14:05) NBN News Maiden Plate 1200m
13 Sir Owen (Bet Now: $1.90) is a son of Fastnet Rock resuming for Team Snowden. This colt had the one start in the latter part of the Autumn at Warwick Farm, which was his debut where he ran a close up third to Silent Explorer where he was a heavily backed odds on pop. Two trials leading in have been outstanding. Just depends if he can jump clean.
2 C’Est Davinchi (Bet Now: $6.90) is a son of All Too Hard for the Hawkes camp that resumes. This bloke raced four times during the Autumn and was runner up each time, the latest at Kembla behind the above average galloper Vontaine. Just brings one soft 800m trial under the belt but gets an ideal gate and J Mac steering.
6 Neruda (Bet Now: $26.00) is a Kristen Buchanan trained gelding who has been around the block a couple of times and hasn’t been far away of late. Resumed over 1100m at Wyong where he sat wide with cover but worked to the line well enough late when third to Tikkitala. Placed in his lone second up effort and can fill a place with luck in running.
Race 4. (14:40) Advanced Pest Control Maiden Plate 1200m
If she runs up to her best, 10 Galina (Bet Now: $1.90) should be too good for this lot. Quality filly who resumes for the Snowden camp and if you cast your mind back to the Winter, the stable did say this girl was better than Euwase, who of course went on to win some blacktype during the Brisbane Carnival. Taken their time with this girl and though she just brings one soft 700m trial leading in, class should get her home.
6 Rose Of Savannah (Bet Now: $7.50) is a Team Cummings trained mare who had trialled up well prior to resuming at Hawkesbury where she had the suck run behind the speed and to the eye, she had her chance to win, but probably just ran out of puff late when third. Should come right on from that and is a definite threat.
4 Oakfield Romance (Bet Now: $9.00) is a Kristen Buchanan trained mare who looks ready to rock and roll. Ran over this track/distance last start where she sat wide with cover and worked to the line quite strongly I thought when third to Western Folk. Bruce MacKenzie, who owns the horse, is a local and his horses generally are ready to go on this day.
Race 5. (15:20) Spring Stakes 1600m
11 Sunreel (Bet Now: $5.00) has really turned the corner in recent times. Broke the maiden impressively at Kempsey before racing over 1500m here where she was simply outstanding and won like a really good horse, showing the promise from the first prep that she was blacktype quality. Tick over trial at Gosford was good and the mile here will be no issue.
I want to see something positive from 1 Outrageous (Bet Now: $6.00) if he’s going to head down the Spring Champion/Derby path. Was okay first up in the Rosebud behind Sandbar before going to the Ming Dynasty where he was held up early on in the straight but eventually got clear and worked to the line well without shooting the lights out. D-Day for sure.
10 Aliferous (Bet Now: $13.00) is a daughter of Hinchinbrook for Kris Lees who was a few weeks between runs when racing over 1400m in an Apprentices Only race where I thought Jenny Duggan gave the filly every chance to win but in the end race fitness beat her with the hard fit Spring Charlie overhauling her late. Should come on from that and the mile is no issue.
Race 6. (15:55) Tibbie Stakes 1400m
3 Princess Posh (Bet Now: $7.50) for me. This mare resumed in the Mona Lisa at Wyong where I think the sticky track first up probably didn’t suit her but she battled away well enough I thought behind Savatiano. On her home track, more spacious surroundings and with a fab second up record under the belt, she can bounce back.
2 Savatiano (Bet Now: $2.90) is a well bred mare for Godolphin and James Cummings who got the blacktype next to her name in the Mosa Lisa and secure her life as a broodmare post racing. The win, to the eye was nothing flash, but she was on speed, on a shifty track and was probably out of tickets late but got in. She’ll improve off that and second up last prep, she spanked them.
7 Miss Que (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Joe Pride trained mare who resumed with an eye catching third to Trekking at Rosehill before racing there again and perhaps just raced that little bit flat when fifth to Don’t Give A Damn. I think she’s ready to launch third up and her record says she can definitely do that, and back to mares grade suits.
Race 7. (16:35) Newcastle Gold Cup 2300m
1 Auvray (Bet Now: $7.00) ran a brave second in the race last year and I think in 2018 he can go one better. Richard Freedman trains this galloper, who resumed in the Premiers Cup at Rosehill and I thought his effort was superb for a resumption behind a high quality animal in Avilius. Been kept up to the mark with a closing 1200m trial at Warwick Farm behind Flow and though quickly up to 2300m, he does seem quite forward.
3 Carzoff (Bet Now: $3.90) looks the one to beat on current form. Once upon a time, there were doubts about him beyond 1800m, but this prep he’s really turned the corner, winning the Wyong Cup last time, albeit largely helped from a peach from McEvoy. Much harder here, and up to 2300m, but he’s hard fit and in form.
4 First Crush (Bet Now: $16.00) is a Chris Munce trained stayer who won the Grafton Cup two back before having a few weeks off and having a prep run for this race in the Premiers Cup where I thought he was far from disgraced behind Avilius, closing off okay late without threatening. He’ll love the rise to 2300m and is a knockout chance at odds.
Race 8. (17:10) Cameron Handicap 1500m
I think the rise to 1500m will really suit the James Cummings trained 15 Best Of Days (Bet Now: $9.00). His two runs in Australia, both over 1400m at Randwick, have been great. Was mist unlucky first up behind Kaonic before being a popular fav and despite having a tussle late with Sir Plush, he just proved too good. Think he wants the mile, so hopefully the tempo in front will give him that chance.
4 Prized Icon (Bet Now: $4.50) certainly looks well placed here. Kris Lees trains this five year old, who comes through the Chelmsford where he did work in the run out wide from the gate and that effort just told on him late behind Unforgotten. Should do no work from gate one here and third up, he should be ready.
10 Plein Ciel (Bet Now: $9.00) is the best horse in the race IMO but first trip away, I just want to watch him but he goes in everything. Ran over the Caulfield mile last time and there was a touch of arrogance/dominance about his win. Hit the front far too early but he was holding them and bear in mind that was his second run in 14 months. He’ll come right on from that and is a definite threat.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race One Number 2 Ocean Walzer
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 10 Galina
LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 1 Auvray
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1, 2, 10, 11
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7
Leg Three: 1, 3, 4, 5, 11
Leg Four: 3, 4, 10, 15
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful
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