Get free Newcastle tips and betting selections for all key meetings from the Newcastle Races in New South Wales.
Race 1 - 1:05PM SAGE PAINTING MAX LEES CLASSIC Tips (900 METRES)
A field of debutantes await us in the 2020 Max Lees Classic with the best of trialler's coming in the form of 1. BABY WONG who jumped well, tracked the two leaders and showed an instant turn of acceleration to pull away late for a smart win at Scone on October 23.
He has drawn out, although it is only over the 900m scamper and the experienced Aaron Bullock's main aim will be to get him quickly into a rhythm, with a wide journey not being a major issue over such a short sprint.
The safest option is arguably the Godolphin filly in 12. Sliders who was only narrowly beaten under a hold in a Randwick hit-out on October 30. A half-sister to group one-winning stable mate Flit, she looked to have plenty of hand in that heat.
Blinkers did the trick for 12. Pippa Charlotte
prior to her last trial on October 4 where she responded well late whilst we should respect any money at big odds ($41 @ BlueBet
) for 5. Super Hot
. The handbrake was firmly engaged late after leading them up pretty comfortably at Muswellbrook on November 3.
Race 2 - 1:40PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP Tips (1300 METRES)
Just about any galloper in this open field could lob without surprising.
I've landed on 6. NORTHERN KNIGHT whose form ties in through a few of these this campaign. The son of Bon Hoffa has had zero luck in his last two attempts with bad gates forcing him to cover plenty of ground on both occasions, but that shouldn't be an issue here from barrier four and Leave Me Some has franked that Port Macquarie form this week.
2. Lord Heron would be the most talented horse in the field (beat a subsequent group three winner only four starts back) although has had his fair share of issues and resumes after a near 12-month spell. He has trialled twice in readiness for this return and won by a big margin at his most recent hit-out.
With the speed on, 9. Brave Enough has claims if they can run on and does look very well weighted dropping 4kg from a Provincial race. 8. Monica's Star never handled a Heavy 9 at Rosehill but won well fresh and can sprint hard late with 54kg if the conditions aren't testing.
Race 3 - 2:15PM SENPOS POINT OF SALE BENCHMARK 88 HANDICAP Tips (1850 METRES)
This is certainly on the weaker end as far as Benchmark 88's go and the race does appear to centre around the Waterhouse & Bott-trained import, 7. VADIYANN.
The Australian debut victory back in December 2019 was superb where he worked early just to land outside Fun Fact who set a strong speed and capitulated as a result, leaving this gelding there to be run down but he continued to fight. Obviously, he's had his problems with the long lay-off but has trialled up twice and the last piece of work was strong. If right (betting late perhaps our guide), then he should be winning.
6. Fortress Command has won two of three attempts since resuming as gelding this spring and has some outstanding juvenile form lines if we go back far enough. He's on the back-up from a win last week with perhaps that form being a query with the placegetters being Petronius (73 rater/won two races and Liveinthefastlane was losing Benchmark 58's at Country level in September).
The winner likely comes from them above two but include 5. House Of Cartier, a hard one to catch but has been competing much stronger company of late and 1. Matowi as top three and four chances.
Race 4 - GUARDIAN SAFETY SOLUTIONS 3YO & 4YO BENCHMARK 72 HANDICAP Tips (Race 4)
It's a poor winning strike rate for 6. ST COVET'S SPIRIT but you can put that down to the opposition she's been up against as the daughter of Uncle Mo was in a host of group races throughout her three-year-old season and was competitive on multiple occasions.
She ran into Rubisaki a few times, who was airborne at the time and split Dawn Passage and Icebath in the Hawkesbury Guineas, with both of them gallopers filling top three positions in the Golden Eagle recently. That's superb reading for a Benchmark 72 field that appears light on for genuine depth and the double figure odds appeal on an each-way basis.
An interesting returner from the local Paul Perry stable is 3. Pandano who showed a stack of promise in two preparations over 2020 which included a second to Asiago who since won multiple group races. He's first-up off a long break but has responded in both trials ahead of this assignment.
The favourite 1. Superium certainly has the class to take this out but has had plenty of chances since his last victory which was 11 months ago. Drawn wide, is unproven past 1100m and has a claiming apprentice on who is striking at just 6.7% this spring. There's plenty of question marks at the short price whilst respecting 9. Cafe Royal who is very honest although there are some queries on her prior form this year.
Race 5 - 3:25PM HUNGERFORD HILL BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP Tips (1600 METRES)
Mark Newnham prepares 1. SPIRIT RIDGE with this gelding being tipped out following an Australian debut win on the Kensington circuit back in May where he got the better of Agassi late, a galloper who won two in this grade (arguably versus deeper line-ups) back in winter.
A wide gate and 61kg are obvious knocks (do they press forward first-up with gun front-running hoop Josh Parr on?) but his two trials leading into this return have been near on faultless and versus mostly limited opposition, class should take him a long way here.
The Waller-trained 9. Prospectus lines up for his 13th start this year and has been super consistent in Brisbane throughout that time with four wins and six placings accrued in that period. He's limited, but hard fit and from a good draw, is definitely in the mix.
had excuses in a slowly run affair via the Cessnock Cup on October 27 and along with dropping 3.5kg, has the services of Nash Rawiller who has gate one at his disposal. He's a chance at a double figure price ($13 @ Neds
) as is 4. Ulusaba
($12 @ PlayUp
) who struggled fresh on a Heavy 8 at Rosehill. This gelding has won two of four second-up attempts and looks one of the very few natural leaders in this race.
Race 6 - 4:05PM NEW ZEALAND BLOODSTOCK NJC 3YO SPRING STAKES Tips (1600 METRES)
There's some very progressive three-year-old types in the Group Three Spring Stakes and perhaps none more so than 2. ELLSBERG who won on debut at Warwick Farm in a 1300m contest that rated very well for the class and was set a task when taking on some useful older opposition a fortnight back.
After camping outside the leader early, he was off the bridle early and struggling where at the 200m, look a far better hope off finishing last than runner-up but found a second wind late, and only went down half a length on the line to a tough and in-form wet-tracker. Back against his own age now, the powerful chestnut looks well placed to tackle the mile.
9. Perfect Radiance is perhaps the most brilliant galloper in this field and her only misses to date have been on testing surfaces. I have some question marks at 1600m but she has the ability to be a genuine black-type performer going forward and this field has a decent tail to it.
I suspect the winner likely comes from the above two and if there's a threat, the most logical candidate is 1. Real Peace who is the only proven galloper over a mile in this field and also including 3. Namazu who was safely held in the Bondi Stakes albeit was victim to some bizarre tactics. Off the prior start when powering home over the 1550m, he has some claims as a strong mile should suit.
Race 7 - 4:45PM THE TAB HUNTER Tips (1300 METRES)
A decent field has been assembled for the $1 million dollar feature and the planets do seem to be aligning quite nicely for Godolphin gelding 3. RANIER who is look perfectly placed to strike now third-up with a solid platform to peak off.
Following an excellent fresh effort in the Group Two Theo Marks when sustaining a long and wide run to grab third, he arrived to Randwick six-weeks between runs last start and with 62kg to lump on a testing surface, was again strong late. Expecting that blow-out to bring him on further and from midfield or a shade worse, Jason Collett can time yet another one to perfection from off the speed.
1. Trumbull took out the Sydney Stakes first-up and is becoming a very genuine galloper who can be pretty well be competitive in anything they throw him in. Hasn't been knocked around with just a light spring but from gate 13 in this big field, the map is a query.
Meeting Trumbull 3kg better off from that Sydney Stakes is the Snowden-trained 11. Signore Fox
and he's since trialled superbly. Would've preferred him drawn out more with his racing pattern but is a live hope at good odds ($17 @ Palmerbet
) and including 8. Fiesta
who is arriving off back-to-back wins in Melbourne. She's another with a poor gate but definitely respecting a mare in form versus many of these don't exactly win out of turn.
Race 8 - 5:25PM BASS FLOOR F&M BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
From the local Nathan Doyle yard is the smart 7. STRAWB who did herself no favours earlier in the year with her awful barrier manners, but the lightly raced mare really started to mature after a little break with a few big Provincial wins in the winter, before encountering a farcical on-speed bias at Kensington in July and was subsequently spelled.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock has worked strongly in two trials this spring where after cruising to the line behind the speedy Farnan, could've given a useful one in Two Big Fari (in the market via a stronger Benchmark in the last) windburn on November 4 but was kept under wraps and looks ready to produce fresh.
5. Great News is a bomb-proof mare that is yet to finish outside the top three and following a brave fresh win, some pilot error cost her going back-to-back at Randwick on Melbourne Cup Day. Senior jockey Brenton Avdulla now takes the reins but he'll need to weave some magic from a wide draw.
Aiming for a winning hat-trick is 1. Enchanted Heart and although right up in the weights now, can offset the impost from a low gate whilst 2. Sausedge is open for improvement. The big betting drift first-up indicated she'd need the run fresh and did finish off strongly there. Her only second-up miss was as favourite in a listed race last time in.
Race 9 - 6:00PM HUNTER VALLEY PREMIUM MEATS T-BONE STEAKS BENCHMARK 88 HANDICAP Tips (1300 METRES)
It's a near on impossible one to wrap up the Newcastle card on Saturday and with a host of chances in a big field, I wouldn't be surprised if 10. ROMANI GIRL ran a cheeky race fresh at a monster price.
Her last win came in this Benchmark back in February which a followed a third-place finish in the Magic Millions Fillies & Mares feature on the Gold Coast. The striking grey from the Waller yard has always been on the fringes of stakes level, which she competed in throughout her last campaign and was beaten only two and a half lengths in a Group Three first-up that preparation. Has to be considered here on that sort of touch.
7. Hilo got the chocolates for us as our best bet on the October 24 Randwick card and was ridden out of his comfort zone a little to secure that win. Good map, low draw and a proven weight carrier, there's no great reason as to why he can't go back-to-back.
The opening markets have really warmed to the 2020 Provincial Championships winner 9. Through The Cracks
who'll get back and rattle home. Good chance but a little too short for mine in a deep contest and although a bolters price ($61 @ Sportsbet
), it's worth including 15. Petrology
as a blowout. The veteran waltzed in at long odds only three starts back in the Muswellbrook Cup and has looked quite forward in two October trials.