Gary Harley – Herald – 04.05.23

Track specialist Super, winner of five races on this track will back up after a fast-finishing performance last Saturday when he contests the Horsepower Feeds & Supplements Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m) at Newcastle on Thursday. Super is in top form on his home track where he has had his past two starts. Newcastle based apprentice Georgina McDonnell has ridden the son of champion sire Snitzel at his past five starts, and she has the mount on Thursday.

Two starts back on April 12, Super came from well back to win a 1200m Benchmark 64 at Newcastle. Last Saturday, the seven-year-old contested a similar race and after being slow away he was twelve lengths from the leaders 800m from home. He was still last halfway down the straight however, was strong late finishing fourth – 1.87 lengths from the talented Union Army. The race was run at helter-skelter speed with Union Army posting 1-10.47 for the 1200 metres. Super is obviously looking for a longer trip and Thursday’s event sees him get that. Georgina McDonnell’s 3kg allowance means he will carry 57.5 kgs. Former South Australian trainer Mark Minervini has placed Super to advantage during the horse’s career, and his prizemoney stands at $237,525.

Kris Lees’ filly Bespangled will be hard to beat when she resumes from a short break in the Sharp Office Maiden Plate (1200m). Bespangled has been placed in two of her six starts, and she is ready to win after two starts during March. The three-year-old was a close third on the Kensington track on March 8 before a failure at the same track fourteen days later. The filly has since trialled nicely at Newcastle last week.

The John O’Shea trained Skit ‘N’ Skat, narrowly beaten on debut at Kembla on April 15 can atone in the New Zealand Bloodstock Maiden Handicap (1500m). The three-year-old ran home well at Kembla, but he has a wide barrier on Thursday and will need luck.

Chris Waller has two runners in the New Era Technology Maiden Plate (1850m), and both are racing well. Jason Collett will ride Ocean Honour who finished strongly to go down by a neck at Wyong last start, and the longer trip is in his favour. Stablemate Genetic Freak will be ridden by Brett Prebble, and he has been narrowly beaten in his past two starts at Warwick Farm and Hawkesbury. He races on the pace and was nailed on the line two starts back at Hawkesbury. Last start at Warwick Farm the three-year-old was beaten 0.67 of a length.

Paul Perry can continue his recent run of success with Florida Sky in the Prince Of Merewether Benchmark 64 Handicap (900m). The filly has placed twice at Newcastle, the most recent when beaten a neck on April 12. Florida Sky is expected to go back from the wide barrier, and she can unleash a strong finish.