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Newcastle Winners - Tips For The Hunter Day

By Brad Gray

Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for The Hunter Day at Newcastle.

The rail is in the True and the form has been done for a good track.

Race 1 - 1:20PM AUSTRALIAN BLOODSTOCK BENCHMARK 88 HANDICAP (1850 METRES)

7. Falcon Island is rock hard fit and should be able to slip in behind stablemate 1. Rapido Chaparro in the run. The 4.5kg weight difference and early work Rapido Chaparro will do to carve across could prove the difference. Falcon Island, with Tommy Berry in the saddle, was brave last Saturday when dragging up the field to tearaway leader Foreign Territory. The race was run at a good clip and he was still there at the finish only to be collared late by the winner. The five-year-old backed up within nine days to bolt in at Wyong in July last year while his dominant Coonamble Cup two starts ago was on a six day turnaround.

Dangers: Rapido Chaparro was on trial at 2400m in the Listed Tatts Cup last start but didn’t appear to get the trip, beaten a long way by Master Of Wine. The tough gelding had been flying prior to that, winning the Port Macquarie Cup and running second to subsequent Cranbourne Cup winner Dr Drill. Drawn wide with Nash Rawillier on, back to 1850m, expect the handles bars to be down to make this a test. That worries me with 5. Sir Pippin. Loved his luckless return but it was just a 600m sprint home. Second up out to 1850m off a soft run might find him out late.

How to play it: How to play it: Falcon Island WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS


Elegant Ellen last start at Goulburn

Race 2 - 1:55PM SAGE PAINTING MAX LEES CLASSIC (900 METRES)

Eight first starters and not an easy race to assess. 7. Tilia Rose goes in on top with the Snowden polish. The filly has looked very classy in her two trials. In the first of those (over 905m) the daughter of Written Tycoon settled midfield before showing a lovely turn of foot to finish second to stablemate Dame Giselle. We know what that filly has done since, exploding clear in the Golden Gift which sees her the long-range Golden Slipper favourite. Tilia Rose then led her second trial over 745m, travelled strongly throughout for Tommy Berry before responding to the lightest of niggles to clear out with the second horse. Berry sticks and imagine he’ll look for cover from barrier 6 with a number of these likely to jump and run over 900m.

Dangers: 8. Zeftabrook won both of her trials and love the way she cruised to the line in the latest of those. Kris Lees also has 6. Redoutes Image lining up for the stable, on the back of a stylish trial win on his home track. 5. Panna Cotta’s trial was professional, if not exceptional, but she went to the line with See You Soon and we know now the quality of Jean Dubois’ youngster. Panna Cotta jumped a length in front of her four rivals too. 3. Dominant Lady the overs at $15? Couldn’t knock her Wyong trial either.

How to play it: Tilia Rose WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Tilia Rose trialling at Randwick – November 1

Race 3 - 2:30PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1300 METRES)

8. Hammoon Ballad is a miler but she’ll run a race here over 1300m. The former Kris Lees-trained mare, now with Sue Grills, wasn’t in the hunt first up over 1100m but like the way she worked to the lin. The four-year-old was a dominant winner second up last campaign, albeit over 1600m, before she tackled the Grafton Guineas, settling for fourth after she was pipped on the line for third. When trained by Lees, he thought enough of her to test her in Listed company at the Gold Coast back in May. She didn’t measure up but it was a heavy track. Prior to that she had run well behind city class gallopers Tinkermose and McCormack. Should be able to use the low draw to hold a spot.

Dangers: 1. Texas Storm had his first crack at a Highway two back at Randwick, however, it was his first try at the mile too. He didn’t get the trip. Back to 1200m last start at Newcastle, the five-year-old hit the line hard. The draw doesn’t help 9. Legendofoz but liked his work late in an 1100m Highway last start. 10. Trophies Galore is in the mix too while throw 3. Maid Marilyn into wider exotics.

How to play it: Hammoon Ballad WIN ($21 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Hammoon Ballad hitting the line at Scone

Race 4 - 3:05PM SHARP ELECTRONICS GROUP F&M BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

5. Let’s Rebelle met 4. Miss Redouble at Port Macquarie two runs back, going down narrowly despite covering a stack of ground. There was a 3kg advantage to Miss Redouble that day and very little between them in the market ($4 vs $4.20). Since then, Miss Redouble has run sixth at Hawkesbury while Let’s Rebelle won convincingly at short odds at Muswellbrook. The overall time was slow for the day but it was run very leisurely in the early stages. Here they both are now, with the weight difference 4.5kg after the claim of Mikayla Weir, and there is a big price difference. Can’t work out why. Let’s Rebelle strikes this class of race at exactly the right time for trainer Jenny Graham. Happy to play at the generous odds.

Dangers: If the best version of 10. Lucciola Belle rolls into Newcastle, she has the talent to not just win this but win it well. The six-year-old has been excellent in her two runs back this time in. 9. Ballistica hasn’t had much luck in her latest couple and in three of her past four defeats, the leader has prevailed. The other was won by California Zimbol. On trial at 1400m. 8. Vitesse was 1400m back to 1200m at Gosford last start and it showed, lacking the ping to put her rivals away. 3. Tinkermosa a knockout hope first up. 2. So Taken drops in grade but needs to improve.

How to play it: Let’s Rebelle EACH WAY ($9 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Miss Redoble vs Let’s Rebelle at Port Macquarie

Race 5 - 3:45PM NEW ZEALAND BLOODSTOCK NJC 3YO SPRING STAKES (1600 METRES)

1. Rule The World made it three from three when winning first up at Rosehill, and it was the three-year-old’s best win yet. The Hallowed Crown gelding absorbed early pressure in sitting outside of the leader, running along at a good clip early, but still accelerating off that. Note that second, third and fourth in the race all settled in the second half of the field. Punters Intelligence shows he zipped from the 600-400 running 11.55 before sustaining that sprint with a 400-200 of 11.51 and a last 200m of 11.99s, which raked third quickest in the race. We saw in his first campaign a glimpse of his talent in races he controlled from the front. The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained galloper profiles like he’ll relish the mile.

Dangers: 11. Game Of Thorns is a good roughie in this, which would be a target race for the filly. She hit the front a long way from home second up over 1400m. Third up last campaign she ran a cracker behind Kordia in Listed grade. 10. Bright Rubick is another that shouldn’t be undersold at odds having recorded three dominant wins in a row. The time was fast in the latest of those. His Newcastle run behind Mirra Vision ties in with Grand Piano and Rule The World. 6. Indy Car didn’t have a clear passage behind Rule The World to attack the line. He is untapped. 7. Kavalmo was disappointing in the G3 Carbine Club but does get the blinkers on.

How to play it: Rule The World WIN ($2 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS

Race 6 - 4:20PM THE $1M PAGES EVENT HIRE HUNTER (1300 METRES)

6. Invincible Gem is the sleeper in the field. The six-year-old is a classy mare and this campaign she has returned as well as ever. First up she got very close to Alizee in the G2 Missile Stakes, where 1. Le Romain was 4.5 lengths back in third. In fact, in all three times Invincible Gem has met Le Remain she has beaten him home. Second up she ran third to Samadoubt and Happy Clapper in the G1 Winx Stakes with the likes Avilius, Kings Will Dream and Verry Elleegant behind her. Last start in the Tramway may look plain on paper when Dreamforce burnt her off but Te Akau Shark ran second and she was only a length off Kolding. She has been freshened for six weeks with a tickover trial at Wyong. Should be able to slot in with plenty of speed on her outside.

Dangers: 3. Graff sets up well over 1300m having mixed it with the likes of Redzel, Pierata and Brutal over the spring. Didn’t attack the line late as he was entitled to in the Premiere Stakes, however, running the slowest last 600m split (34.37s) of the five runners. Respect him but he is certainly short enough. 7. Savatiano surely won’t be seen over the mile again. Best go off her brilliant Caulfield win two back. Has raced well at Newcastle in the past. 11. Renewal looked flat last start but was 1400m back to 1200m. Maps to get a lovely trail. 8. Redouble not hopeless at monster odds coming off a failure you can put a pen through.

How to play it: Invincible Gem EACH WAY ($16 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Invincible Gem in the Missile against Alizee

Race 7 - 5:00PM PRIME7 BENCHMARK 88 HANDICAP (1300 METRES)

We’ve seen enough of 2. Bobbing to know he is one dimensional. Even from barrier 6, expect him to be out the back, at best with a couple behind him. They’ll run along enough for him here. Bobbing was enormous first up in The Kosciuszko with Punters Intelligence revealing a sizzling 32.58s last 600m, two lengths quicker than Noble Boy’s 32.86 which ranked second. Bobbing savaged the line clocking 11.01s for his last 200m. Would be more confident out to 1400m but given the likely set up here, he should get his chance, albeit from a long way back.

Dangers: 7. Outrageous won comfortably second up, sitting outside of the leader in a slowly run race. He was entitled to win like he did but the four-year-old has clearly come back well, as evidenced by his first up third at Randwick in a deep BM88 behind Signore Fox and Reelem In Ruby. Brock Ryan will need to keep his wits as to not be buried on the fence from barrier 2. Dare I suggest Gresham is overs at $41? Especially the $10 to run a place, having run top three in 22 of his 31 starts. He did enough first up to suggest he can run well here.

How to play it: Bobbing WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Bobbing’s first up run at Randwick

Race 8 - 5:40PM HUNTER VALLEY PREMIUM MEATS T-BONE STEAKS BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1500 METRES)

7. Juventus ran on well last start at Rosehill in an on speed dominated race. The first three to the turn were the first three home, headed by the winner Outrageous. Juventus ran home his last 600m in 33.79s, two lengths faster than the next quickest in the race. That was five weeks between runs with Kris Lees backing off the five-year-old after he was a touch disappointing at the backend of September. Imagine this has been a target race for Lees on his home track. Juventus’s form early this preparation had been great, winning at Warwick Farm, running third to Rock and then gapping third when second to Irukandi. James McDonald rides and should settle him midfield from the inside draw.

Dangers: 2. Strome was four weeks between runs and 1200m to 1500m last start. Hardly an ideal set up. She held her own behind Asterius in a very gently run race hence the bunched finish. Tricky draw but if she jumps cleanly (can miss the kick) she’ll have a number of speed horses to carve across with. 3. Mushaireb’s fresh runs in Australia have been his best. Five weeks between runs, he could replicate that pattern. Profiles like a horse that wants genuine speed.

How to play it: Juventus WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS


Juventus last start behind Outrageous

Race 9 - 6:15PM HUNTER CIVILAB 3YO & 4YO BENCHMARK 72 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

Have been waiting for 9. Leviathan to return. This is a smart three-year-old. The Zoustar gelding showed brilliant acceleration to win easily on the Kensington track on debut, beating Snazz ‘N’ Charm (next start ran third in a Listed race) and Lucicello (won her next two before placing in black type races). At his second outing it took an outstanding effort from subsequent Group One winner Funstar to beat him at Randwick. The pair beat the rest of the field comfortably. Leviathan has had two trials back and looked strong in both, the latest at Rosehill where he rounded up his rivals from the rear before being throttled down. This horse is a lot better than a BM72 grade of animal.

Dangers: No doubt 1. Testifier goes close to winning first up at Randwick with any luck, and would have kept his unbeaten record intact. It wasn’t to be, however, and the four-year-old gets a chance to atone three weeks later. Imagine the plan here would be for Brock Ryan to take bad luck out of the equation from barrier 2. Tactics will be as interesting on 15. Plenty. Let him run from the wide draw? Hold him up and he’ll overrace. Has proved costly to punters but loved his most recent trial. Market moves will tell the story there.

How to play it: Leviathan WIN ($2.10 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS


All the fields, form and replays for Saturday’s Newcastle meeting featuring The Hunter

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