Fresh from his most successful day in the saddle at Warwick Farm on Easter Monday, teenage apprentice Zac Lloyd will head to Wednesday’s Newcastle meeting with five mounts. Lloyd, apprenticed to James Cummings rode four winners at Warwick Farm on Monday, and one of the quartet was for John Sargent – and arguably his best chance at Newcastle is trained by the popular Kiwi.
The pairs Monday winner was Casual Connection, and at Newcastle the pair unite with four-year-old mare Left Reeling in the Hunter Valley Premium Meats Benchmark 64 Handicap (1850m). The daughter of Dundeel put the writing on the wall when beaten 1.4 lengths on the Kensington track last start on March 22. That was her third run from a spell, and she closed off late and is ready for a peak performance. Left Reeling has had two starts at Newcastle for a win and a second and she has won on the track over this trip.
Lloyd’s other mounts at the meeting are Lipscani (R2), Bayezid (R5), Furious (R6) and Hyacinth (R8). Lloyd was excited last week when Sargent booked him to ride his talented stayer in last Saturday’s Sydney Cup. However, the excitement turned to disappointment on Thursday when Gin Martini was scratched on vet’s advice.
Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou’s promising three-year-old Union Army resumes in the final event, the Prince Of Merewether Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m). Two of the geldings three starts have been at Newcastle, where he was placed in August. He went for a spell after a very easy win at Kembla in August. Union Army has had two recent trials and Josh Parr has the mount.
The Snowden stable will send the Kiwi bred The Englishman to Newcastle, and the three-year-old gelding deserves to break through in the Hellbent @ Yarraman Park Maiden Plate (1300m). He has had four starts, all on Metropolitan tracks for two seconds and two fourths. The Englishman was beaten a nose at Canterbury in February. He trialled okay at Randwick last week.
Mark Newnham’s Troika, easy winner of two of his last three starts can overcome a wide barrier and win the Jennings Print Benchmark 64 Handicap (900m). Troika’s last run was at Kembla on March 28, and he bolted in by 3 ½ lengths.