By Tony Megahey
The lasting bonds and passion shared between the Racing Industry and Rugby League continues with the debut of filly Sunday Special at Tuesday’s Cessnock’s TAB meeting.
The three-year-old (Big Brown USA-Suspended Time) filly, another emerging talent from the prolific Kris Lees stable, is raced in a syndicate involving Jack Newton and his son Clint, sporting institutions in the Hunter, and with a long NRL involvement with the Newcastle Knights.
Lees was a regular at Newcastle home games in the glory days when racing commitments allowed. His judgement was deemed near faultless by the likes of Andrew Johns and the great players, who are also involved as owners with the Lees stable.
Jack Newton, born in Cessnock, is the Knights’ original number one supporter, and Clint a celebrated player who became president of the NRL Players Association.
“Yes great days, and times to remember when they won their first premiership, I got to most of the home games then, but not so much now as games often clash with race days,” Lees recalled.
And Sunday Special with 54.5kg in a Cessnock League’s Club maiden 900m for Luke Cumberland? “She’s trialled at Wyong and Newcastle, a nice up and running filly,” Lees offered. “She has drawn well in a suitable maiden.”
Lees has a typically strong hand at Cessnock in a record achieving season that has topped eight million in prize-money.
Eastern Paradise, a Doomben winner and placegetters last prep contests a Jungle Juice BM 60 (1350m). Atlantic Edge is coming off Mudgee and Cessnock wins for an East Cessnock Bowling Club Class 2, 1570m.
“Brian Guy had Eastern Paradise, for those mid-weekers at Doomben but he’s in his right race for us off a spell, fitter for two trials and the one race start this time in. “Atlantic Edge will be competitive in her right grade as well, an on pacer, race fit coming off a maiden and a class 2 win.”
Cessnock will race on a good four track with the first event set to jump at 12:55pm.