Gary Harley – Herald – 12.10.21

Newcastle trainer Nathan Doyle has enjoyed an impressive start to the current season and he is confident of adding to his early season tally of 11 winners at Newcastle on Tuesday.

Doyle will saddle up Norwegian Bliss in the Sharp Office Class 1 Handicap (1300m) and Miss Scalini in the 1600m New Zealand Bloodstock Benchmark 68 Handicap. When bookmakers framed their markets on Friday, Norwegian Bliss was a $2 favourite. The four year old mare transferred to Doyle without having a race start during the Autumn, trialled at Gosford on August 30 and she bolted in.

Her only race start was at Port Macquarie on September 26 and she was backed into $1.65 before demolishing a Maiden field. Doyle discussed her prospects on Tuesday with yours truly. “This mare is extremely talented but has had a few issues along the way. She was with Daniel Robinson at Hawksbury early on then went to the Maher/ Eustace stable.”

Norwegian Bliss then had a long break of around 12 months. I only gave her one trial at Gosford then she cut her leg and it was a month between the trial and her first start at Port Macquarie. I thought she would be too classy at Port Macquarie but she was fat and her class prevailed.  The rail is out 10 metres on Tuesday so we needed a soft draw and she has barrier two. She will race on the speed and I am confident she can win. Norwegian Bliss is the first horse I have trained for Gerry Harvey and I am indebted to James McDonald’s brother Luke who recommended to Mr Harvey to send the mare to me to train.

Miss Scalini is racing well and drops 4 ½ kilograms with Dylan Gibbons’ claim. She will be on the speed from the rails barrier” Doyle said.

Annabel Neasham will travel to Newcastle with her professional placegetter Jesse James the odds on favourite in the 1890 metre Yarraman Park Class 1 Maiden Plate. The New Zealand bred five year old has had eight starts for a win and six placings. He won first up at Goulburn this preparation on September 11 and he looked certain to win second up at Wyong recently before laying in close to home. His breeding suggests he will run the longer trip.

The Hawkes stables lightly raced four year old Pascal resumes in the Australian Bloodstock Maiden Plate 1250m. The gelding was placed on debut at Canterbury in May and on September 28 he easily beat a small field in a trial. He has good speed but has to overcome a wide barrier.

Scone galloper Tim’s Principal steps out in the final event the New Zealand Bloodstock Benchmark 68 Handicap 1600m and he had excuses last start on this track. He had not raced for seven weeks, lost a blinker at the start and came from worse than midfield, to get within 2 lengths of the winner.