By Gary Harley
Maitland-trained filly Musical Query is set to repay Newcastle businessman Lee Rowan for the $15,000 he parted with to buy her when she contests the 900 metre three-year-old Maiden at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday.
Rowan purchased the filly at the annual Inglis Scone Yearling Sale and she is trained by Phillip Atkins. The latter trained smart sprinter In Cahoots for Rowan and he won the 2014 Gosford Guineas and a Listed race at Caulfield.
Musical Query debuted in a 900-metre scamper at Cessnock in December and she displayed genuine speed to sit outside the leader before taking the lead at the top of the straight. The filly was run down and beaten by three quarters of a length.
Atkins spelled Musical Query after the Cessnock run and she next appeared in a Newcastle barrier trial on the synthetic track on April 12. She only had two opponents and she won the trial by five lengths. Local jockey Alison Threadwell rode Musical Query at Cessnock and in the trials and she has the mount on Saturday.
Atkins who has six horses in work at his Maitland stable told the Herald on Friday that his filly has a good chance.
“She is a jump and run filly and has a nice barrier. Trials on the synthetic tracks can be misleading and at times they are not a good guide, however, the time was okay and she stretched out well in the run home.
"Musical Query was only small when Lee bought her and we have given her time to develop. She hasn’t grown that much but she is ready to race well on Saturday. This filly has good speed and we will take advantage of the good barrier,” Atkins said.
Australian Hall of Fame jockey Robert Thompson and Rosehill’s Hawkes family training partnership have a very good strike rate at Newcastle. On Saturday, Thompson will be aboard the Hawkes’ promising three-year-old Cordero in the 1400 metre Maiden Plate.
Cordero will be a short priced favourite following an eye-catching performance at Canterbury on April 17. It was only the gelding’s second start and his first for ten months and after racing midfield he stormed home to finish third, a length from the winner. Cordero will appreciate the extra 200 metres on Saturday and will love the spacious track.
The James Cummings trained Seeblume will be the shortest priced favourite of the day when she steps out in the 1400 metre Fillies and Mares Maiden Plate. The filly was most unlucky when a fast finishing second at Wyong of February 23 and she stormed home when beaten a nose on this track three weeks ago.
Newcastle premiership leader John O’Shea has two runners at Newcastle and the pair have bright prospects. The Bar will run in the 1200 metre Maiden and Istria in the 1400 metre Benchmark 65 Handicap.