By Gary Harley
Newcastle Jockey Club, on the back up from a sensational The Newcastle Herald Hunter Day on Saturday has another race meeting on Tuesday.
It is an eight-race program and Kris Lees and his apprentice Dylan Gibbons combine with a couple of good chances raced by Australian Bloodstock.
The stable's four-year-old New Zealand-bred mare Shuri ($2.10 into $1.85 favourite on TAB) is the shortest priced favourite on the day in the Community Raceday This Sunday F&M Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).
The mare is a daughter of Japanese sire Satono Aladdin, and her only start was at Taree on October 20 when she demolished a maiden field by 4½ lengths.
Gibbons rode her on that day and she worked hard to reach the lead from barrier 13, and from thereon Shuri careered away.
This race is much stronger, but she has drawn nicely and will take up a position on the speed.
Shuri’s stablemate Osterberg ($5) resumes from a spell in the final event, the PFD Food Services Benchmark 64 Handicap (900m) after campaigning in Queensland last preparation.
He won a Sunshine Coast maiden by 3.3 lengths in May and next start won a Class 1 on the same track by 2½ lengths. Osterberg has not raced since an unplaced run at Eagle Farm in July but had a quiet trial on the Beaumont Track on October 24.
Zac Lloyd is riding at the meeting and he has the mount on the $4.20 TAB favourite California Glass in the opening event, the Horsepower Feeds & Supplements Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1890m).
She is a true stayer second-up from a spell and only has to return to her form of last preparation to be the one to beat.
The mare blew like a gale in betting when last in a seven-horse 1300m Class 1 at Goulburn first-up on November 5. However, she will be a different proposition over the longer trip on Tuesday.
Both her wins in May and June were over 2300m at Newcastle and 2100m at Wyong, and her winning margins were 1.78 and 4.25 lengths respectively.
Before a spell California Glass who is trained by John Thompson was only beaten 1.92 lengths in a Benchmark 78 2400m on the Kensington Track. She carries the colours of the Tait family who raced many stars including Tie The Knot.
Warwick Farm-trained mare La Sagrada ($4.40) deserves to break through in the Greenway Turf Supplies Maiden Plate (1890m).
The four-year-old trained by Robert Quinn has been placed in eight of 11 starts and has been placed in both of her Newcastle runs. La Sagrada has had two runs this preparation, and last start was narrowly beaten over the Goulburn 1600m.
The Godolphin-James Cummings Lonhro filly Equipage ($3.70 fav) should break through for her first win in the New Era Technology Maiden Plate (1200m). She debuted on a heavy track at Canterbury in January, and came from a mile back to run fourth, 1.91 lengths from the winner.
Her only other start was at Kembla two weeks ago when beaten a length. The filly will be ridden by Christian Reith but must overcome a wide barrier.
Tyler Schiller, fresh from his The Newcastle Herald Hunter win on Coal Crusher, returns to Newcastle to ride Kim Waugh’s Jared, early favourite ($2.70) in the Hungerford Hill Wines Provincial Maiden Plate (1400m).
Jared put the writing on the wall when a close second at Hawkesbury on November 7. He has placed four from six and can race on the speed.