By Gary Harley
Regally bred four-year-old Our Royal Egyptian, a beaten odds-on favourite in his only two starts this preparation, is set to atone in the 1150 metre Maiden Plate at the Newcastle Jockey Club' s race meeting on the Beaumont Newcastle Track on Saturday.
The handsome entire is trained by former Kiwi trainer Bjorn Baker at Warwick Farm and after two placings from his initial four starts Our Royal Egyptian went for a spell in January. While spelling the then three-year-old underwent a wind operation.
After a cracking Warwick Farm barrier trial win on July 14, Our Royal Egyptian resumed at Gosford on July 29. Backed from $2.20 into $1.80 he worked hard in the run three-wide with no cover before finishing second, half a length from the winner.
On August 17, again at Gosford he firmed from $1.70 to $1.55 and after leading from the start he was nailed on the post. Baker only has the one runner at Newcastle and he is confident.
“This is a lovely race for this horse and he has drawn nicely and has genuine speed. Our Royal Egyptian is a big, burly individual and it has taken some time to get him fully fit. There were excuses first-up because he was caught wide and second up I couldn’t find an excuse but the winner Longreach looks pretty smart.
"We will be going forward again on Saturday and I am confident of a bold showing. The Godolphin filly Argemone is the obvious danger,” Baker said on Thursday.
Our Royal Egyptian’s dam Our Egyptian Raine, is a New Zealand-bred mare which won a Group 1 in Kiwi land before crossing the Tasman and finishing second in the Group 1 Doomben Cup, Epsom and Dubai Cup.
Hunter Valley abattoir owner Edward Throsby and trainer Kris Lees will be hoping for a change of fortune when their mare Karavali resumes from a spell in the final event a 1350 metre Fillies and Mares Class 2 Handicap. The New Zealand bred mare was purchased by Throsby after she had four starts for one win in New Zealand early last year.
Under Lee’s care Karavali has had three Australian starts and finished second in all three at Warwick farm, Rosehill and on the Beaumont Newcastle Track. The mare has had the benefit of two recent barrier trials and Lees has booked Sydney apprentice Nick Heywood who claims 1½ kilograms.
Warwick Farm stayer Vindex should be rewarded for his recent run of Newcastle minor placings when he contests the opening event the 2200 metre Class 1 and Maiden Plate. The gelding has filled the minor placings in his past two starts on the Beaumont Newcastle Track and another on the Newcastle course proper. Vindex drops in class after chasing home the inform Jagger in her past two starts.
Two of Australia’s high profile stables look to dominate the 1250 metre Maiden Handicap. The Hawkes family will be represented by the three-year-old colt Reflectivity a recent Rosehill barrier trial winner. He was narrowly beaten in the Rosehill Golden Slipper Gift on debut in November. Sprinting To Win is trained by Peter and Paul Snowden and he has been placed in his past two starts at Newcastle and Gosford.