Gary Harley- Herald 19.09.20

Rejuvenated grey mare Pearl Roan is set to give lie to her poor Newcastle record when she steps out in the 900 metre benchmark 64 Handicap on the second day of the Newcastle Jockey Clubs Spring Racing Carnival at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday.

Trained on the track by Steve Hodge the five year old will be ridden by Darryl McKellan who rides the mare in her trails and trackwork. McLellan was suspended when Pearl Roan was a brilliant all the way winner at Muswellbrook on August 2 with Robert Thompson aboard. McLellan was reunited with the speedster in her last start at Scone on August 25 when she was nailed on the post.

Pearl Roan was due to run on Wyong Cup Day but she hit her head on the float travelling to Wyong and she was scratched. Hodge who only has five horses in work because of his commitment as lessee of the Newcastle Jockey Clubs Equine Pool discussed pearl Roans prospects on Thursday “this mare hasn’t been placed in all four starts at Newcastle but that was early in her career when she had bad barrier manners. In her last start at Newcastle in February Pearl Roan missed the start by four lengths, she went for a good spell after that run and this time in we have done a lot of barrier work with her.

The mare appears to be rejuvenated as she has come out running this campaign in both starts for RT and Digger. The 900 metres on Saturday is ideal and they will know they are chasing if she comes out running.

Darryl Rawson a long time client bought her at the Scone Yearling Sale. It is a classy benchmark 64 but she has a good chance” Hodge said.

Kris Lees has accepted with five of his team and he can strike early with consistent stayer Continuation in the opening event the Red Funnel Ladies Day Cup (2300m). the five year old’s recent start at Gosford on August 28 was an eye catcher. He was allowed to drop out to the tail of the field and he made a long run around the field to go down by .74 of a length.

Continuation was placed at Warwick Farm three starts back and it was worth noting all of his three wins have been on firm tracks similar to the rating expected on Saturday.

One of the more interesting starters on Saturday is Lees I Am Invincible colt, Kinloch in the 1200 metre Benchmark 64 Handicap.

Raced by a group of big players in New Zealand racing the colt has only had two starts. He turned in an amazing performance to come from near last in the straight to win a 900 metre 2 Year Old Maiden on debut on April 23.  Kinloch’s only other start was in a high quality 2 year old race at Randwick on May 9 when beaten four lengths by Peltzer