The annual Westpac Rescue Helicopter race day will be held at the Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday. The highlight of the race meeting is the high-quality 1200 metre Benchmark 70 Handicap. The race features the clash of three very promising and lightly raced gallopers, Through The Cracks, Powertrain and The Crimson Idol.
Central Coast trainer Angela Davies is confident that Through The Cracks can atone for a recent first up defeat at Canterbury. “I set Through The Cracks for a first up win at the Canterbury night meeting on November 15. He has had a number of setbacks since he raced at Newcastle in May, however he was working well in the lead up to the Canterbury race.
Nash Rawiller rode him at Canterbury, and he was beaten a length and a quarter. Nash got off the horse after the race and confessed the horse went super but he went terrible. He said he was three wide and when coming around the field on the home turn, Through The Cracks wobbled a bit but then made up many lengths. Nash was keen to ride him in his next start. The horse prefers the long straights like Newcastle where he has had a win and a second from two starts. I am not concerned about the wide barrier as he always races at the tail of the field. It is a very classy field, but my bloke is ready and is unbeaten second up,” Davies said on Thursday. Through The Cracks has four wins and an unlucky second from seven starts.
The Scone three-year-old Powertrain is richly talented, and has toyed with his rivals in his only two starts this preparation at Muswellbrook and Scone. Trainer Paul Messara has booked the boom Irish apprentice Tom Sherry to ride the gelding and his three-kilogram claim means Powertrain will only carry 54 kilograms compared to Through The Cracks 60½ kilograms. Powertrain has won three of his five starts.
The Wyong mare The Crimson Idol has won three of her seven starts and has been placed in three others. She is chasing a hat-trick of wins after winning her past two starts at Scone.
Tom Sherry has seven mounts at the meeting and apart from the well fancied Powertrain he has two very winnable rides for Richard and Michael Freedman. The brothers have Our Fun in the opening event the 1885 metre Benchmark 64 Handicap and Outback Diva in the 1300 metre Class 1 Handicap. Our Fun was most unlucky when beaten a head over the Gosford 1600 on November 23. The mare was third past the post but was badly hampered in the closing stages and protested successfully against the second placegetter.
Outback Diva finished a close fourth first up at Gosford on November 23 and she has won second up. That was the first time she has finished out of a place in five starts and she raced well when runner up in her only Newcastle starts in June.