Gary Harley – Cessnock- 02.06.20

Former New Zealand trainer John Sargent based at Randwick these days, can do punters a favour when Cessnock Racecourse hosts its first meeting since October on Tuesday.

The popular ‘Sarge’ told yours truly on Sunday night that he is confident that two of his three starters can win. The multiple Group 1 winning trainer will saddle up Prince Camelot ($2 TAB Fixed), Most Welcome ($1.65 TAB Fixed) and Lovely Spirit ($8.50 TAB Fixed).

Prince Camelot runs in the opening event the 2125 metre Class 1 and Maiden Plate and his only win was over 2100 metres. He has had two runs in this preparation over unsuitable shorter trips and he is ready to win.

“Prince Camelot ran on well at the end of the mile last start and he needed those two runs to be in peak condition. This is his best distance and he will race in the first six. He is ready to win.

Most Welcome was formerly trained by Chris Waller and he was placed at Canterbury in July. I have only had him for one run at Kembla on May 16 and he was only beaten a head. I scratched him from Kembla on Saturday because of the heavy track. I believe Most Welcome will eventually get 1600 metres. This is a very winnable race and he should win.

Apollo Ng who shares in the ownership races Gust Of Wind the last horse to beat Winx,” Sargent said.

His other runner Lovely Spirit won a recent barrier trial and her trainer gives her an each-way chance.

Boom Sydney apprentice Tom Sherry will ride all three of Sargent’s horses. The Irish boy lost his country allowance last week after riding his 80th winner in eight months.

Sherry has never ridden at Cessnock. Kris Lees will only send two of his team to Cessnock and both have strong claims. Lees’ three-year-old Daltoro will run as favourite in the 900 metre Maiden Handicap. He was beaten 4½ lengths into third place behind the outstanding Lost And Running on debut at the recent Scone Cup meeting.

Intricately is Lees other represented in the 1150 metre Class 1 Handicap. The Fastnet Rock filly bolted in on debut at Kempsey a month ago and she had no luck at Tamworth last start. Andrew Gibbons rides the Lees pair.

It is a rare occurrence for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott to have a runner at Cessnock but on Tuesday three-year-old The First Ring will represent the stable in the 1570 metre Benchmark 58 Handicap.

The gelding led all the way to easily win a Queanbeyan Maiden on May 17 and he can win again.

Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer has found a nice race for his well performed mare Constanzia which runs in the 1350 metre Class 3 Handicap. The four-year-old has had eight starts for three wins and two placings. She resumed with a 3½ length win at Tuncurry on May 16 and she was a winner second up last prep. Christian Reith rides Constanzia.

Cessnock received 30 millimetres of rain last week and the track surface is in great order for the resumption of racing.