Top jockey Josh Parr gave punters a lead when he travelled to Newcastle for one ride on Thursday. Parr answered the call from close friend Adam Duggan to ride the trainers four-year-old Head Spins in the Ron Reid Happy Valley Maiden Handicap (1150m).
The gelding was on debut after Parr rode him to win a recent barrier trial on the Beaumont track. Head Spins was backed from $11 into $2.50 and after settling just off the speed, he gathered the leaders in down the straight to win by a length.
Parr was impressed. “I liked his trial, but he is so immature. He was good today as he settled nicely off a good speed and he picked up well in the straight. Adam has been a good friend for many years, and he has another promising horse in his stable,” Parr said.
The Hunter based Australian Bloodstock were successful in the opening two races. Agosto, an imported stayer trained for the syndicate by Chris Waller was the $1.20 favourite in the opening event the $1M Hunter Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2100m).
Chad Lever put the import outside the leaders, and he raced away in the straight to win by just under three lengths.
Kris Lees trains the other Australian Bloodstock winner Animate which narrowly won the Avid Project Management Maiden (1350m). The colt heavily backed from $2.15 to $1.70 was given a gun ride by Andrew Gibbons but he had to fight hard to beat the Paul Perry trained Chasing Comets.
Gerry Harvey and Clarry Conners were in the winner’s circle with a New Zealand bred filly Magnificently. An impressive barrier trial winner recently, the 3-year-old overcame a horror draw to share the lead before winning by a length and three quarters.
Punters were left stunned when $71 chance Dad’s Blaze won the East Cessnock Bowling Club Benchmark 58 Handicap (1350m). The Cessnock trained mare returned a win dividend of $143 with TAB. It was Dad’s Blazes’ second win in twenty-three starts and brought up a double in successive races for apprentice Jean Van Overmeire.
He was aboard Magnificently in the previous race.