By Gary Harley
Sydney’s top apprentice Andrew Adkins is heading home to Port Macquarie for a week on Saturday but not before he fulfils his riding engagements at Newcastle. The 19-year-old copped a week’s suspension last weekend and Saturday will be his last day of riding until the Easter weekend.
Adkins’s boss Ron Quinton has booked the Sydney Apprentices' Premiership leader for three rides on Saturday and the talented apprentice also has mounts for Jason Coyle and Kris Lees.
Left: Andrew Adkins - has a strong book at Newcastle on Saturday. Image by - Bradley Photographers
Quinton’s trio consists of Brunch (Race 1), Dream I Can (Race 2) and Secret Pedrille (Race 4). Adkins rides Assertin Mischief (Race 3) for Coyle and Gala Royale (Race 5) for Lees.
Brunch, a daughter of super sire Snitzel, is on debut after winning a Randwick barrier trial on March 7 and finishing a close third in a barrier trial on the same track last week. Dream I Can has two metropolitan placings to his credit and with a drop in class he is expected to be the favourite in this race.
Secret Pedrille is resuming from a spell and she won a recent Randwick barrier trial. Assertin Mischief won two races on the Beaumont Track in the spring and is unbeaten at 1400 metres. Gala Royale is a well-bred filly on debut after an impressive recent rail at Gosford.
Adkins has ridden 44 Metropolitan winners since transferring from Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn to Ron Quinton 15 months ago and he currently leads the 2016-2017 Sydney Apprentices' Premiership.
The teenager discussed Saturday’s mounts with yours truly on Thursday: “Brunch is a promising filly bred to be good. I rode her in two of her trials and she will run well. Dream I Can drops in class and he was doing his best work late first up on a heavy track.
"This is a nice race for him and he will be hard to beat. Secret Pedrille was placed in a good Maiden at Gosford in August and she has been trialling well. This filly has good early speed.
"I haven’t ridden Assertin Mischief but her form reads well and Gala Royale looks a nice ride. I am suspended for a week after Saturday so I am heading home to Port Macquarie to spend some time with my parents,” Adkins said.
James Cummings’s promising filly Seeblume is set to break through for her first win in the 1400 metre fillies and mares Maiden handicap. The three-year-old has had three starts and she was most unlucky in her second start at Wyong on February 23.
Seeblume was near last on the home turn and could not secure clear running to the closing stages when she flashed home to finish second. The filly was uncomfortable when fourth on a very heavy track at Warwick Farm last start. She will appreciate the step up to 1400 metres and a firmer track on Saturday.
Speedy two-year-old filly Madonnica has bright prospects in the opening event, a 900 metre 2-year-old Maiden handicap. She was narrowly beaten on debut at Wyong in December before finishing down the track in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic before going for a spell. Madonnica won a recent barrier trial and the 900-metre trip is ideal.
Kris Lees will saddle up six runners at Saturday’s Newcastle meeting. The best of them appears to be Just Dreaming (Race 3) and Hammoon Dream (Race 8).