By Gary Harley
Gosford trainer Adam Duggan is confident his talented five-year-old Fantastic Baby is spot on and ready to win on his return to racing at Saturday’s Newcastle Jockey Club race meeting.
He will contest the final event, the 1400m New Zealand Bloodstock CG&E Benchmark 64 Handicap.
The gelding had his one and only preparation in the latter part of 2020 when he raced four times for two wins and two close seconds.
Duggan has sent Fantastic Baby to the barrier trials twice recently and after his recent Gosford trial declared that his galloper was ready to return to racing.
“I have a huge opinion of Fantastic Baby and the spell has seen him mature and I believe he is ready to win first up,'' Duggan said.
"Newcastle is a great big track and I am happy that I could find a suitable race.
"Originally I was going to book an apprentice to ride the horse but the two I wanted were already booked. I was rapt when I was able to secure Aaron Bullock as he will suit my horse and from the rails barrier he will probably box seat.
"I have known from his first start that Fantastic Baby needed blinkers but I resisted the temptation. However, he will have blinkers for the first time on Saturday.
"His owner Mr. Li is a Hong Kong businessman and we have had plenty of luck in the past 18 months."
Bullock, who is closing in on another century of winners for the season, has five mounts on Saturday.
Apart from Fantastic Baby, Bullock’s best chance appears to be the John Thompson trained Eye See Things in the 1200m Class 1 Handicap.
The mare is enjoying a successful preparation with a win and three placings from four starts. She won easily first up at Hawkesbury in April and she stormed home when a close second last start at Gosford on May 27.
Eye See Things has never raced at Newcastle but she will love the big straight. Bullock has ridden 95 winners in the current season.
The Snitzel colt Deficit is set to break through for his first win when he runs in the 1200m 2YO Maiden Handicap.
He has been placed in his only two starts at Wyong and Gosford during May. The colt is still immature but he has finished strongly on the tighter tracks.
He will appreciate the spacious Newcastle track and the 1200 metre trip.