By Gary Harley
Paul Perry’s Australian Derby aspirant, Hollywood Mo, returns to the racetrack on Newcastle’s Beaumont Track on Thursday and the master trainer is expecting a strong performance. The colt resumes in the 1250m Maiden Plate in his first hit out since the Group 1 Victoria Derby in which he finished sixth after a tough run.
Perry took the horse to Melbourne in the spring and after a solid second in the Geelong Classic on October 19 Hollywood Mo was never on the track when beaten four and a half lengths in the Victoria Derby on October 29.
The 3yo trialled impressively on the Beaumont Newcastle Track three weeks ago and Perry said on Wednesday that the horse should sprint well fresh.
“As you would expect Hollywood Mo is only about 75% fit for his first-up run. However, this is a nice race for him to kick off his preparation and providing the backmarkers are running on I expect him to sprint well.
"The horse spelled well after the Melbourne trip and I was happy with his recent trial. I have nominated Hollywood Mo for the Australian Derby to be run at Randwick during the Championships. He should have finished closer in the Victoria Derby as he was wide all the way and another horse kept laying on him. Tommy Berry rides him for the first time on Thursday,” Perry said.
Another of Perry’s promising three-year-olds Walk Right In also resumes tomorrow in the final event, the 1150 metre Benchmark 65 Handicap. He was placed twice on metropolitan tracks during the spring and he was runner up to last Monday’s Group 3 winner Zestful in a recent Newcastle trial. Walk Right In has drawn off the track but with any luck his trainer believes the gelding will go close.
Randwick trainer James Cummings heads to Newcastle with five runners and his smart filly Mega Mall has bright prospects of notching back to back victories on the track.
After a luckless second on the Beaumont track on January 21 she was an impressive winner here at the meeting on February 4. She will contest the 1350 metre Class 2 Handicap and she should have a cosy run from her ideal barrier.
Cummings will be looking to another of his team Static Lift to atone for a narrow last start defeat on the track when he steps out in the 1350 metre Class 2 Handicap. The four year old was run down by the smart California Nike at the last meeting on February 7.
Chris Waller’s New Zealand filly Midnight Delight a fast finishing second on this track at her Australian debut on February 4 should go one better in the 1350 metre Maiden Handicap. The three year old has drawn nicely and she was placed in her only two New Zealand starts before joining the Waller stable.
The first of eight races kicks off at 1.15pm.