Gary Harley – Herald – 22.05.21

Wyong trainer Tracey Bartley heads to Newcastle on Saturday with his confidence boosted after his three main chances have drawn perfect barriers. The former top jockey will be represented by Higgins (barrier 4), Onemore Sapphire (barrier 3), Compassionate (barrier 1) and Defeat (barrier 6)

Higgins is the son of successful sire Written Tycoon and has had a number of barrier trials in preparation for his first start on Saturday. The 3yo’s most recent trial at Newcastle on May 5 indicated he was ready to go to the races. He was slowly away, settled at the tail of the field and worked home nicely under no pressure. Higgins will run in the New Zealand Bloodstock Maiden Handicap (1200m).

Compassionate will contest the Hungerford Hill 2YO Maiden Plate (900m) with Alysha Collett in the saddle. The filly is on debut after two impressive trial performances, and she looks to have speed to burn. Onemore Sapphire has 60.5kgs in the TAB Venue Mode Benchmark 68 Handicap (1880m) with Aaron Bullock to ride. The 5yo was an easy Newcastle winner two starts back and he had no luck at Newcastle at his last outing. Defeat will benefit from apprentice Patrick Scorse’s 3kg allowance when he runs in the Suez Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m). Defeat drops in class and is ready to perform well.

Bartley discussed his quartets prospects on Thursday.

“Higgins is a nice horse and is ready to run well. He has a perfect draw and has worked well this week. Compassionate is very quick and has similar attributes to my good mare In Good Time. She is only small but has a huge stride. The intension is to hold the rails – her trials have been impressive.

Onemore Sapphire has drawn perfectly and the claim is vital. He had a tough run when trapped wide last start. He will probably settle mid-field. Defeat has a chance now he has had two runs this preparation. He has won at Newcastle and has the claim” Bartley said.

Newcastle – Hunter Hall Of Famer Paul Perry has engaged Amelia Denby to ride his 3yo Theo Legion in the final event, the Suez Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m).

Theo Legion resumed in an unsuitable 900m event on this track on May 8 and his performance was outstanding. He jumped in front but drifted back to the tail of the field before storming home to get within 1 ½ lengths of the winner. His two wins have been over 1450m so the step up to 1300m is ideal.