Gary Harley – Herald – 20.05.23

Former South Australian trainer Mark Minervini has trained 53 winners since arriving in Newcastle close on four years ago, with five runners at Saturday’s Newcastle Jockey Club meeting the popular mentor is confident of improving his positive strike rate. On Saturday Minervini’ s five acceptors in race order are Toyger (Race2), Star Impact (Race 3), New Republic (Race 4), Fire And Ice (Race 7) and Super (Race 8). The latter will not run if the track is heavy however, the other quartet will irrespective of the track rating.

Minervini discussed the prospects of his team after the fields were released on Thursday. “ Toyger is a Lonhro 2-year-old, talented but learning his trade. In his two starts he has raced too keen, so I trialled him at Muswellbrook on May 10 and told rider Ash Morgan to settle him back. The horse sprinted quickly and impressively. Ash is riding in Brisbane on Saturday, so Aaron Bullock has the mount.

Star Impact only got going when the race was over at Wyong last start, and she is an each way chance. New Republic likes Newcastle, and he drops in class but goes up in weight. He was only 2.2 lengths from the winner at Scone last Saturday and this is not as strong. He has a good chance.

Fire And Ice loomed to win at Scone, but the Godolphin pair were too good. I dropped him back to 900 metres and added the blinkers. He will run well. Super has won five races at Newcastle and although he ran well here last start he probably did not get going quick enough. I have been fortunate to secure Aaron Bullock for all of my runners except Super” Minervini said.

Local trainer Nathan Doyle will run his talented filly Overriding in the Insight Building Services Benchmark 64 Handicap (1250m). In the first preparations she had three starts in December -January. The 3-year-old won a Beaumont Maiden by more than 3 lengths on Boxing Day. Second up Overriding was a $1.26 when beaten 0.15 of a length at Wyong. She then finished the course at Kembla before a spell. On May 2 the 3-year-old bolted in with a Wyong trial.

Bjorn Baker will send his fast Maiden filly Hot Sundae to Newcastle to attempt to win first race in the 900 metre Farrelly Construction Services Maiden Handicap. Hot Sundae displayed blistering speed in two Newcatsle starts before Christmas . The filly won a recent Canterbury trial by 4 lengths.