Gary Harley – Herald – 02.12.23

Newcastle and Hunter Hall Of Famer Paul Perry, already with 27 winners in the first four months of the season has a talented filly Bakerloo lining up in the final event at Saturday’s Newcastle race meeting. The 3-year old, a daughter of Perry’s Group 1 winner The Mission will run in the 1600m Novatherm Benchmark 64 Handicap.

Bakerloo has no speed but is a powerful finisher with a sound record on the Newcastle course proper. From four starts on her home track the filly has a win and two placings and she was a winner on the Beaumont track two starts back. Bakerloo’s last three starts have resulted in two wins and a nose second. This will be her first run over a ‘mile’ but she has indicated that she is crying out for the longer trip. Last start Bakerloo ambled out of the barriers in a Scone 1400m Class 3 and she was three lengths behind the second last home at one stage. When she got to the outside of the field at the top of the straight she stormed home to finish second, a nose behind a smart horse Point Bosse.

The 3- year old came from way back to win on the Beaumont track two starts ago and she did likewise on the Newcastle course proper three starts back. Perry has engaged inform jockey Amy McLucas who claims 2 kilograms.

The legendary trainer has four runners at the meeting and the Mikki Isle filly Willingale has a good chance in the Cants Building & Newcastle Office Interiors Class 1 Handicap (900m). She is the last start Newcastle winner of a Super Maiden over this short course on November 4. Two starts back Willingale was nailed on the post again on this track. McLucas has the mount.

Chris Waller has an interesting filly bred to be a superstar in the 1600m Hobson Engineering Super Maiden. I Am Smiling (I Am Invincible- Lucia Valentina) made her debut in a Rosehill Super Maiden (1400m) and she beat one home on November 15. The 3- year old was warming up late and fitter this time and up to the ’mile’ the blueblood will relish the tough run home. Waller when interviewed by Sky Racing prior to her only start said that I Am Smiling wanted more ground. Lee Magorian will ride the filly. Of course, Luca Valentina  won the Group 1’s for Kris Lees including an unbelievable win in the Randwick Queen Elizabeth when ridden by Damian Oliver.

Ron Quinton’s speedy filly Watch My Girl is in good form in her only two starts this preparation and from a suitable barrier she is the one to beat in the 1400 metre Class 1 Newsure Insurance Midway Handicap. The daughter of Maurice was strong late to win at Gosford first up on November 2, then last start Watch My Girl led to the closing stages when runner up at Newcastle behind the smart Shuri. Another jockey enjoying a successful season, Jean Van Overmere has the mount.

He also rides the James Cummings Restonica which resumes in the 1200m Happy B’Day Super Coop Maiden Plate. He was only 2.19 lengths from Extreme Spirit on debut in a Kensington 2- year old in February. The colt was 1.79 lengths behind Kintyre on this track in March and last start on March 16 he was runner up at Gosford.

Annulus is fitter for two starts from a spell and is well placed in the Provincial Benchmark 68 Handicap (1200m). He came from last when beaten 1.32 lengths at Gosford second up on November 14. At Newcastle Annulus has had 9 starts for a win and four placings and talented apprentice Anna Ropa claims 3 kilograms.