By Gary Harley
Former Victorian mare Hard Faith has found a new lease of life since joining Nathan Doyle’s Newcastle stable and she can add to the $18,300 she has returned her new owners at Newcastle Racecourse on Tuesday.
The six-year-old had 32 starts for respected Victorian trainer John McArdle for four wins and eight placings and her last win was at Geelong in January.
Hard Faith ($7.50 on TAB) was purchased by Davali Thoroughbreds who have a magnificent Thoroughbred property on The Hunter River at Luskintyre in the Lower Hunter Valley after her last start at Wangaratta in April.
The intention was to breed, however, the Hush family who owns Davali Thoroughbreds decided to race her for another 12 months before she goes to stud. They race Hard Faith with a number of first-time owners and she hasn’t been out of a place in three starts in the Hunter Valley and Newcastle.
“The first time I travelled the mare she won a Gosford trial easily in early August. So, I was confident she would win first-up at Muswellbrook on August 14 and she won well," trainer Nathan Doyle said at the weekend.
"Hard Faith was then beaten three-quarters of a length in a strong Benchmark 64 at Newcastle and she was beaten a nose at Scone three weeks ago.
"She is up in class on Tuesday but the mare is flying and she races on the speed. I believe Hard Faith has a good chance in an open race.” The mare contests the 1400m Benchmark 68 Handicap on Tuesday.
Davali Thoroughbreds owners David and Alison Hush drew a slot in the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko and they chose Belford-trained Two Big Fari ($13 on TAB) to represent them in the world’s richest country race, trained by Todd Howlett.
John O’Shea and Tommy Berry will combine with favourite Much Much Better ($2.30) in the 1875m Class 1 and Maiden Plate. The grey gelding has outstanding form for a Provincial Class 1 and Maiden Plate.
He was beaten a long head by Saturday’s Group 1 Spring Champion winner Montefilia in a Newcastle Two-Year-Old race on Newmarket day in March. He has been runner-up in a recent Canterbury and Warwick Farm Maiden and he is a front-runner.