Gary Harley – Herald – 03.02.24

Three-year-old filly The Hawkesbury, a daughter of two champions is arguably the most interesting galloper racing at Saturday’s Newcastle race meeting. The filly’s sire Frankel is recognized as one of the worlds best while her dam More Joyous won 21 of her 33 starts, including eight Group 1’s.

The Hawkesbury, part owned by her breeder John Singleton will contest the Container Traders Class 1 Handicap (1300m) with Keagan Latham in the saddle. The filly has only had one start at Kembla on November 7, and in a six-horse field on a Heavy 8 track she made the opposition look second rate, coming from second last to race away and win by 3.5 lengths. Nash Rawiller trialed The Hawkesbury at Randwick on January 22 and she was given a quiet ride closing in late under a hold. The blueblood is expected to settle back in the field, and she will appreciate the long straight similar to Kembla.

Latham, who rode a treble at the previous Newcastle meeting has seven mounts on the eight-event program, and another of his good rides is the Michael Freedman trained Wymark in the RAIS Super Super Maiden Handicap (1500m). The Kiwi bred three-year-old son of Savabeel has been placed in three of his five starts, including a close third on this track when a short-priced favourite in March. Wymark has had two starts from a spell and had no luck in either. He came from well back when beaten a head at Hawkesbury on December 10, and his last performance on the first day of the Magic Millions Carnival at the Gold Coast was outstanding. Wymark was sixteenth in a field of seventeen at the home turn in the 1400m $250,000 Magic Millions Maiden. He was 9 to 10 lengths from the lead and went down by four lengths. Barrier one is gold for the gelding, and although it is a classy maiden field Wymark will be hard to beat.

The Snowden stables Prince Of Arendell is in career best form and should kick favourite backers off to a good start in the opening event, the Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2300m). He was on the speed when an easy Kembla winner of a Class 1 on a Heavy 9 on January 3. Last start on a Good 4 track again at Kembla, he was gutsy when beaten a head over 2000m. Mitchell Bell has the mount on Saturday.

Paul Perry’s General Soho in close to a win, and the Montgomery Homes Benchmark 68 Handicap (1400m) is a nice race for the eight-year-old. He is the winner of seven races including one on this track. General Soho was held up when first up at Wyong two days before Christmas when runner up, and he ran on from near last when fifth again at Wyong on January 6. He is looking for this longer trip and Aaron Bullock rides him for the first time.