Gary Harley – Herald – 11.10.22


Randwick filly So Dazzling, equal favourite for next months Group 1 VRC Oaks will have her third race start at the Newcastle Jockey Club’s race meeting on Tuesday. Former Kiwi, and champion trainer of 3-year-old fillies John Sargent prepares So Dazzling who contests the final event on Tuesday – the Hellbent @ Yarraman Park Benchmark 64 Handicap (1880m). Sargent has previously won the AJC Oaks, VRC Oaks, Queensland Oaks and New Zealand Oaks.

So Dazzling, a daughter of top sire So You Think has only had two race starts. She flew home from the tail of the field in a Warwick Farm 3yo Maiden over 1400m on debut on August 31. The filly was a $101 chance that day and was beaten less than two lengths. Her only other start was in a Flemington 3yo fillies race on September 18 on a Heavy 10 track. Champion jockey Damien Oliver was aboard, and her performance was outstanding. So Dazzling was four and five wide back in the field before unleashing in the straight to win by ¾ length. I contacted “Sarge” on Sunday.

“She is a very good filly, and similar in ability to my previous Oaks winners. This filly will stay all day and Oliver was so impressed with her Flemington win he accepted the ride in the VRC Oaks. So Dazzling is qualified now for the VRC Oaks but the race isn’t until early November so I bought her home so I could keep an eye on her. Tuesday’s race fits nicely with the big track and tough run home, and she loves a wet track. The plan is to run on Tuesday then in the Wakeful Stakes at Flemington before heading to the Oaks. Willie Pike will ride my three runners on Tuesday” Sargent said.

His colt Perfect Thought will be hard to beat in the Allied Moving Services Midway Benchmark 68 Handicap (1500m). Sargent’s other runner Spiritchaser resumes from a spell in the opening event the Kloster Motor Group 3yo Maiden Handicap (900m).

Kris Lees has accepted with ten of his team for Tuesday’s meeting. Jason Collett will ride the majority of the Lees Racing runners, including the three gallopers best fancied in early markets. Gripping sports the colours worn by Chautauqua in race three, and he has his hoof on the till after a close third at Hawkesbury second up. Razeta in race four had very good form in the winter and she should run well second up. Imported four-year-old Better Not Bitter is another Collett ride with a good chance. He runs in race six after a promising placing in his first Australian start on this track on September 24.

The NJC race again on Saturday with the $50,000 Jungle Juice Cup the feature event.