Gary Harley Herald 13.08.20

Newcastle trainer Paul Perry’s great start to the 2020-21 season is set to continue when he saddles up promising stayer Sky Lab at Newcastle on Thursday.

The son of Japanese sire Real Impact will contest the 1875 metre Sage Painting Maiden Plate in which he is an odds-on favourite. Perry has trained seven winners in the first thirteen days of the season with Chris Waller the only New South Wales trainer to better the Novocastrians performance.

Sky Lab has had three starts for two placings and he has impressed in all outings. The three-year-old has caught the eye with barnstorming finishes from the tail of big fields in every start. Sky Lab made his debut in an 1100m Scone Maiden on June 26 and after being 10 lengths off the lead, with 800 metres to run, was beaten only 3½ lengths.

On July 19, again at Scone, in a 1300 metre Maiden, the gelding was 12 lengths off the lead at the 800m before storming home to go down by only 1.3 lengths. Sky Lab then stepped up to a more suitable 1600 metre trip at Gosford on July 25 and his performance was something to see.

He was a long second-last during the run and he unwound with a powerful finish down the straight to get within a half head of the winner. Sky Lab ticks all the boxes on Thursday. He will appreciate the long straight, the extra trip is a huge positive and apprentice Tom Sherry claims 1½ kilograms.

Four-year-old blueblood Reaching, resumes from a spell in the 1300 metre Coastline Pools and Spas Maiden Plate. The mare is a daughter of four-time Group 1 winner Alinghi and trained by Kim Waugh at Wyong. Reaching has had four starts in two preparations for three placings.

The mare was narrowly beaten by the talented Rocha Clock on debut at Newcastle in November. The tight track bought Reaching undone when beaten a length at Wyong on November 28 before going for a spell. She resumed on the Kensington track in February and turned in an outstanding performance to come from last on the turn before going down by less than a length. After an unplaced Newcastle run on March 6, Reaching was again spelled. Her recent trials have been impressive and James McDonald will be aboard on Thursday.

Kris Lees speedy filly Miss Canada will appreciate a firmer track when she has her second start this preparation in the 900 metre Lynne Barter Memorial 3YO Maiden Plate. The three-year-old was placed in all three starts on metropolitan tracks in her first preparation. She struck a very heavy track when unplaced first up at Rosehill on July 11.

The filly has led all the way in a Gosford trial since and she has the speed to lead from the favourable barrier with Andrew Gibbons aboard.

Lees has four runners at the Newcastle meeting in Miss Canada (Race 1), Snitzari (Race 4), Blazing Sunrise and Bedivere (Race 7) – all will be well fancied.

Sydney champion trainer Chris Waller will send eight horses to Newcastle while Sydney’s premier jockey James McDonald has mounts in four races.