By Gary Harley
Newcastle Jockey Clubs's state-of-the-art Broadmeadow Course Proper undergoes its first test under race conditions when the first four races on Tuesday's eight-event race program will be run on the new surface.
New Zealand-bred blue blood Impavido takes the next step in a bid to earn a start in the rich Australian Derby when he has his second race start in the 1600 metre Class 1 Handicap on the Course Proper. Trained by former Kiwi Bjorn Baker based these days at Warwick Farm, Impavido was a runaway 3.3 length winner on debut at Kembla on January 24. The three-year-old was friendless in the betting ring blowing out to $21.
Baked said on Sunday that he is hoping that Impavido will develop into an Australian Derby contender: “I will admit that he surprised me a bit with the ease of his win at Kembla. Impavido’s trials before that run were over 800 metres and he was outsprinted.
"However, when he went to the races and the trip was 1400 metres he came into his own. He got a decent bump at the start, settled down last and then unwound with a great burst from the 400. Impavido is bred on the same lines as former champion Kiwi stayer It’s a Dundeel which was trained by my father Murray.
"It was a soft track at Kembla and I believe he is better with the cut in the ground. A storm or two at Newcastle won’t hurt. This horse will get back in the field but that magnificent long straight on the Course Proper will be to his liking.
"I have booked Kerrin McEvoy to ride Impavido. He won the Doomben 10000 for me on Music Magnate and he is a champion rider particularly on stayers.” Baker said.
Paul Perry’s smart two-year-old The Mission resumes in the 900 metre 2yo Handicap. The master trainer set the colt for the Randwick Breeders' Plate in October after an impressive trial.
The Mission missed the start and never got into the race pulling up with poor post-race recovery. Forty two days later he was only beaten a length and a half by the smart Veranillo (won again at Randwick last Saturday) at Rosehill.
It was a creditable performance as The Mission was slowly away, over raced in the early and middle stages and he raced greenly in the last 200 metres. The colt has had the benefit of a recent trial and he will appreciate the spacious Course Proper.
Sydney’s champion trainer Chris Waller has a great chance of winning the first race on the new track and in fact a further two during the meeting. Waller's Destination Tucson has been disappointing during her career but she will be a short-priced favourite in the opening event the 2300 metre Class 1 Handicap. After an unsuccessful stint in Victoria the mare ran on strong to finish a close second on the Beaumont Newcastle Track on January 21.
Waller's European import Prescience looks the testing material in the 1850 metre Maiden Plate on the Course Proper. The 5yo was only beaten three quarters of a length after a tough run at Canterbury last start. Waller will apply the blinkers to Prescience on Tuesday.
The Rosehill trainer's other well fancied runner is Naughty Thoughts in the 1350 metre Maiden plate. The filly after a close second on the Beaumont track went to Warwick Farm last start when she was badly checked at the 600 metres. The filly will wear blinkers for the first time. Sydney’s Premiership leader Brenton Avdulla will ride the two of Waller’s fancied runners.