Newcastle Next Best Bet - Race 1 No. 6 Akahata
Heading the early markets in the opener on Newcastle Gold Cup Day is the Godolphin mare Silhouette and Akahata, a colt from the Bjorn Baker yard who does appear to have the stronger recent form lines, despite the former having not raced over the autumn.
The son of Pins was on a Champagne Stakes path via his first racing preparation, a feature he was ultimately well held in, however, he was only a stride off beating Arnaquer two runs prior to that, a galloper that he just got the better off in the Fernhill Stakes.
Arnaquer looks a Spring Champion prospect after a big run in the Dulcify and after a Maiden triumph over a subsequent winner in Shameless Miss, Akahata was unsuited at Wyong, but still closed off behind Ita and Chateaux Park, both BM72 winners on Wednesday.
RARITY WHOLESALE CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE Tips (Race 5)
Newcastle Best Bet - Race 5 No. 3 Dhakuri
This big and strapping son of Contributer looked a potential Derby type in his second campaign over the spring and summer of 2020, winning an 1800m Maiden at Rosehill before catching the eye over that same journey on December 5 when stepping up to a BM72.
Finishing third behind The Elanora and Kukeracha (QLD Derby winner), he rattled home and got the better of what's turned to be quite a handy field, with Prospectus, Tampering, Wairere Falls and Get The Idea all subsequent city winners featuring in that race.
He didn't handle the heavy track fresh, but the two trials prior were good, while now going straight to the 1800m and plummeting in grade to a Set Weights Class 1, Dhakuri wins this if he finds anything that resembles that aforementioned Rosehill run.
YARRAMAN PARK TIBBIE STAKES Tips (Race 6)
Newcastle Value Bet - Race 6 No. 7 Outback Diva
At 30/1 and with no first-up form, nothing was expected of this mare on resumption over an unsuitable trip of 1100m on July 31, but it was a really nice return, rattling off clearly the fastest closing splits of that Randwick event behind Valaquenta and Spaceboy.
The Freedman stable are clearly on the hunt for a black-type victory with Outback Diva, a now six-year-old that is seemingly able to record that one huge peak run per campaign, as was evident in February when giving Entente a touch up, a multiple stakes winner.
Meeting More Prophets and Great News again from the Mona Lisa Stakes, a feature she was competing in second-up, but five weeks between runs, she didn't have the best of luck late there and this looks the target race, where the bigger Newcastle circuit suits.
AUSTRALIAN BLOODSTOCK CAMERON HANDICAP Tips (Race 8)
Newcastle Roughie - Race 8 No. 8 Sky Lab
While he can be unconventional along with being hard to catch most of the time, Paul Perry is a savvy trainer and here on his home track second-up with this talented gelding, it does look a set play to get try and get the four-year-old into the Epsom Handicap.
The Group Three Cameron Handicap provides the winner with a ballot-exempt route into that October 2 Group One, a feature that the son of Real Impact has a nomination for and given there's no feature staying entries, he may not be tested past 2000m anymore.
Sky Lab arguably should've beaten Mo'unga in a Rosehill Guineas and carrying 60kg in a Randwick return (drops to 54.5kg here) when only there to dust off some cobwebs, he'll likely try to blend in late with Rock, who is looking to make it a hat-trick of wins in this event.