Gary Harley – Herald – 07.08.21

Scone trainer Stephen Jones is confident that his speedy 4yo Polylithic will be competitive against the well performed Godolphin filly Testimonial in a classy 900m Newcastle Maiden on Saturday.

Polylithic, bred and raced by Jones’s major client Gerry Harvey on his New Zealand stud has only raced twice. The ‘little fella’ who is bred for speed debuted at Newcastle on a wet track on July 3. He hit the ground running and led before being run down late in a strong race. Last start at Tamworth on July 23 Polylithic raced on the speed on a heavy track and he went down by ¾ of a length. Jones was bullish about the son of Swiss Ace’s prospects on Saturday when contacted on Thursday.

“This horse doesn’t fancy wet tracks and the prospect of a Good 4 on Saturday excites me. He is not real big so I booked Dylan Gibbons to ride the horse and from the rails barrier he will jump and run. Dylan is a very promising apprentice and he claims 3 kilograms at Newcastle. James Cummings’ filly Testimonial had good form in Black Type races earlier in the year and she will take some beating. She has won two trials recently but I will be surprised if Polylithic doesn’t test the filly’ Jones said.

The trainer has 12-14 horses owned by Harvey in his Scone stables, the most of any of the retails giants. Jones worked for Harvey at the age of 18 on his Armidale property. The popular mentor rode winners as an apprentice before training at Canterbury, Rosehill and the Gold Coast for 35 years. He moved to the ‘Home Of The Thoroughbred’ Scone four years ago.

This is a cracking Provincial program at Newcastle on Saturday.

James Cummings will send four of his team up the M1 on Saturday and three of them will be well fancied by punters. Cummings acceptors are Alegron, Testimonial, Retrieval and Tanzimat. Alegron runs in the 1400m Maiden Plate after two trials. The 3yo was beaten 2.5 lengths in the Listed Fernhill Handicap at Randwick on April 17. Testimonial steps out in the 900m Maiden Handicap in which she has to overcome a wide barrier. The filly was only 1.2 lengths from the winner in the Group 2 Riesling Stakes at Randwick in March. Retrieval was placed at Gosford recently and the blueblood colt contests the 1200m Maiden Handicap.