By Gary Harley
Wyong Race Club hosts a seven-race metropolitan class meeting on Wednesday. Former English stayer Wallangarra these days is in the Kris Lees stable and heads to Wyong chasing his fourth win ‘on the trot’. Newcastle Jockey Club's CEO, Matt Benson, was responsible for the importation of Wallangarra and he shares in the ownership with NJC Chairman Geoff Barnett and director Robert Dan, Kris Lees and others.
The five-year-old arrived in Australia earlier this year as an eight-start maiden but he has thrived since he entered Lees’s stable. Wallangarra turned in an eye-catcher when a fast-finishing third in an unsuitable 1400 metre maiden at Newcastle in his first Australian start. His only three other Australian starts resulted in easy wins at Port Macquarie, Newcastle and Hawkesbury’s ATC meeting. Andrew Adkins rode Wallangarra at Hawkesbury and he will claim 1½ kilograms again on Wednesday.
RACE 1 (WYONG MAGIC MILLIONS DECEMBER 21 HANDICAP, 1600m): Plagiarist finished strongly on debut when third over 1400 metres at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day. The colt steps up to the mile here and this is an inferior field than he met first-up. Zeppelin has been consistent without winning and he has been placed in his past three metropolitan starts. Moonmo ran on well when narrowly beaten in Hawkesbury’s ATC Maiden first-up.
SELECTIONS: 1 PLAGIARIST, 3 ZEPPELIN, 4 MOONMO
RACE 2 (LIMITLESS LODGE BREAKING IN PLATE, 1350m): This is an open race with many chances. African Academy was well backed at Gosford last start and he finished strongly to go down by three-quarters of a length. The extra trip is ideal and Shinn rides. Enlightened Boy went well first-up at Newcastle and he will be fitter second-up. Elementae will be all the better for a debut placing at Gosford recently.
SELECTIONS: 1 AFRICAN ACADEMY, 4 ENLIGHTENED BOY, 3 ELEMENTAE
RACE 3 (THE HUNTER CONTAINERS HANDICAP 1200m): Valeria is a smart filly which was very unlucky in her second race start at Gosford two weeks back. She was at the tail of the field until the straight where she was held up. When finally clear Valeria flashed home to go down by three-quarters of a length. She was impressive in her Newcastle debut win last month. Shudabeen is a speedy filly with a light weight after the claim. She drops in class after two Group runs. Lucy Rose has very good country form and will benefit from the 3 kilogram claim.
SELECTIONS: 4 VALERIA, 3 SHUDABEEN, 1 LUCY ROSE
RACE 4 (LIMITLESS LODGE PRE TRAINING HANDICAP, 1200m): Hillary Step was only 2 lengths behind Bon Amis last start at Rosehill and she will be hard to beat. The mare was a gallant second behind Zonk at Warwick Farm last month. Hammoon Dream has good country form and she was a Canterbury placegetter last prep. Mollyfied is in good form with a win and three placings from her past four starts.
SELECTIONS: 3 HILLARY STEP, 2 HAMMOON DREAM, 4 MOLLYFIED
RACE 5 (KERNICK LAW HANDICAP, 1000m): Geneteau resumes on the back of a couple of nice trials. She has the rails barrier and she normally races well first-up. The mare was runner-up to Calanda and Miss Debutante in races 11 months ago. Fanning is hard fit and is quick. He is a big player from barrier two. Difficult To Get is a 1000 metre specialist resuming.
SELECTIONS: 5 GENETEAU, 2 FANNING, 1 DIFFICULT TO GET
RACE 6 (KOOINDAH WATERS HANDICAP, 2100m): English Stayer Wallangarra is flying under the care of Kris Lees. He has won three ‘on the trot’ and he bolted in with a Hawkesbury ATC Benchmark 65 last start. The gelding is not that big and the claim is handy. Lookin’ At You is ready to improve over the more suitable trip. Red Viking was runner-up to Wallangarra second-up last start and he is a winner on this track over this trip.
SELECTIONS: 4 WALLANGARRA, 2 LOOKIN’ AT YOU, 6 RED VIKING
RACE 7 (COASTAL CARPET & FLOORING HANDICAP, 1600m): The lightly-raced blueblood High Point is well placed here. After two seconds in strong Maidens at Wyong and Randwick he was an easy Newcastle winner last start. Spinning Gold races well on his home track and his recent form is good. Victime de L’Amour is a front-runner better suited to this shorter trip.
SELECTIONS: 9 HIGH POINT, 5 SPINNING GOLD, 3 VICTIME DE L’AMOUR
GARY HARLEY'S LATE MAIL
1 PLAGIARIST – WILL APPRECIATE THE TRIP
2 ZEPPELIN – ON PACER PLACED LAST THREE
4 MOONMO – STRONG LATE 1ST UP
6 LATIFA – LIKELY LEADER. PLACE CHANCE
1 AFRICAN ACADEMY – KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
4 ENLIGHTENED BOY – NOT FAR AWAY 1ST UP FITTER
3 ELEMENTAE – ONLY RUN OK
5 FALCON ISLAND – TWO RECENT TRIAL WINS
4 VALERIA – STIFF LAST START
3 SHUDABEEN – SPEEDY. SHARP DROP IN CLASS
1 LUCY ROSE – OUTSTANDING COUNTRY FORM
2 TIKI BAR – 3 STARTS 1 WIN 2 2NDS
3 HILLARY STEP – METRO FORM GOOD ENOUGH
2 HAMMOON DREAM – CITY PLACED & GOOD COUNTRY FORM
4 MOLLIFIED – NEVER RACED BETTER
1 LIVE TO DREAM – HAS GOOD RECORD
5 GENETEAU – 1ST UP. SMART & TRIALING WELL
2 FANNING – SPEEDY. HARD TO CATCH
1 DIFFICULT TO GET – SPECIALIST THIS TRIP
3 COSMIC CAMEO – CAN IMPROVE
4 WALLANGARRA – IMPECCABLE FORM
2 LOOKIN’ AT YOU –THIS IS HIS TRIP
6 RED VIKING – READY TO WIN
8 SMOOTH WHISKEY – THIS IS EASIER
9 HIGH POINT – PROMISING. ALL 3 STARTS GOOD
5 SPINNING GOLD – NEVER RACED BETTER
3 VICTIME DE L’AMOUR – FRONT RUNNER SUITED THIS SHORTER TRIP
6 TAHSIN – AT HIS TOP NOW. WATCH