By Gary Harley
Scone record holder Invincible Gangsta ($2.50 on TAB fixed odds) will appreciate a huge drop in class when he contests the 900 metre Class 2 Handicap at Newcastle today.
A brilliant short courser, Invincible Gangsta, trained at Wyong by Kristen Buchanan, was not disgraced when beaten two lengths in a hot Class 2 900m race on this track on June 23.
That was his first start for three months and he shared the lead with the smart Puppet Master until his condition gave out with 200m to run.
The three-year-old was bred by former Newcastle Knights second rower Darren Treacy who raced the horse in partnership.
Invincible Gangsta raced away from the smart Rebel Cry to win a Newcastle Maiden in February. On March 8, he led all the way to break the Scone 900m record.
Buchanan is confident she had found the ideal race for her speedster: “This is a nice race for Invincible Gangsta as he drops sharply in class and will carry less weight than he did in that quality field first-up.
"He needed that run and the winner took him on in front and put Invincible Gangsta off his game. I believe he is a better horse chasing and from barrier two, I am hoping he can sit behind the leaders.
"He has a really good turn of foot when held up. We have been lucky to secure Jean Van Overmeire to ride him and he claims 1½ kilos," Buchanan said.
The erratic Crackneck ($2.40) is the early favourite ahead of Invincible Gangsta. Crackneck also has blistering speed but he has run off the track on the home turn in his past two Newcastle starts.
Kris Lees only accepted with two horses for his home track meeting, The Tenor ($2.10) and Ten Carat ($6.50). Two-year-old colt The Tenor, Brendon Avdulla’s only ride on Tuesday, is a short-priced favourite in the 900 metre 2yo Maiden Handicap.
The Tenor is on debut on the back of an effortless Cessnock trial win on June 27. He led all the way in the 800m trial and he was never off the bit. The colt has drawn well and is expected to win on debut. Ten Carat failed at Cessnock last start and he has the task ahead in the 900m Class 2 Handicap.
The Waterhouse-Bott trained filly Diamond Star Halo ($1.30) is a long odds-on favourite in the opening event, the 2360m Class 1 & Maiden Plate. She has been placed in her past five starts and was narrowly beaten by the imported stayer Nahuel over this trip on this track on June 30.