The Newcastle meeting on Monday transferred from Cessnock was a blackout for favourite backers when five of the seven winners were at double figures.
Racing opened with Nationwide Super Class 2 Handicap (900m). Gosford trainer Greg McFarlane saddled up two of the six starters Miss Eimar ($8) and Avid General ($26). The latter jumped in front and never headed holding out Gidgee Guy to win by half a length with Miss Eimar an unlucky third
Race 2 was the Peden’s Hotel Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m) and the locally trained Survey’s Legacy was the $2.90 favourite. Hunter Valley apprentice Mikayla Weir brought the $11 chance Garryfromthebull with a well-timed run to claim victory. Both placegetters Oakfield General and Di’s Diamond went well and are ready to win.
Race 3 The Cessnock Advertiser Class 1 Handicap (1200m) was won by the Rick Worthington trained Snitzagirl. The latter a $4 chance made her run with the heavily backed favourite Penny Dreadful ($2.90) and there was only a head between them at the post.
Paul Perry’s Aruba landed a long-priced plunge in race 4 the Yarraman Park Benchmark 66 Handicap (1400m). Backed from $51 into $26 Aruba stormed home down the outside to cheers of stable supporters. The winner is raced by Paul Perry’s wife Cassie.
Cessnock trainer Brian Walker was back in the winner’s circle in race 5 the Cessnock Leagues Club Maiden Plate (900m). Walker prepares four-year-old mare Sing Us A Song an $11 chance. She had not run a place in eight starts prior to Monday.
Travis Wolfgram picked up a late ride on Day Star winner of the East Cessnock Bowling Club Maiden (1200m). Digger McLellan was booked for the ride but was ill and could not fulfil the engagement.
The most impressive win of the day was in the final event the SENPOS Point Of Sale Class 1 Handicap (1600m). Holy Reign trained by Kim Waugh was a class above his country opposition and he bolted in despite the big weight. He will not be out of place in a Provincial Championships Qualifier.