Gary Harley – Herald – 22.11.22

Hawkesbury trained mare Star Mission will appreciate a drop-in class when she contests the Sharp Office F&M Maiden Handicap (1350m) at the Newcastle Jockey Club’s Beaumont track meeting on Tuesday. Trained by Peter Green, the four-year-old has had five starts and hasn’t finished further back than fifth in all five. In the Autumn, Star Mission was beaten 1.5 lengths when placed in two Kembla runs in April and May.  The mare resumed from a spell in a 1200m Midway Maiden at Gosford on November 8 on a Good 4 track, and her effort to finish fifth was good enough to win this race.

Louise Day has ridden Star Mission in all five starts, and at Gosford because the mare drew the extreme outside barrier, she allowed her to drift back to last in the field of ten. Day decided to get going near the home turn and after being widest Star Mission made good ground to finish just behind the placegetters. She was placed in her only second up run, and her best performances have been on tracks with long straights, so the Beaumont track will be ideal.

Scone trained Remlaps Commander’s eye-catching run on debut at Gosford on November 8 points to the colt being hard to beat in the Coastline Pools Country Boosted Maiden Plate (1150m). The three-year-old had several trials before his only start when he was beaten a length by the short priced favourite Captain Bond. This is a huge drop-in class for Remlaps Commander.

Locally trained Trumpster has been knocking on the door for some time, and he strikes a winnable race when he contests the Allied Pickford’s CG&E Benchmark 58 Handicap (1150m). He has had a win and eight placings from sixteen career starts. The four-year-old was heavily backed on the Beaumont track last start but disappointed when finishing third. Reece Jones has the mount from a soft draw.

David Atkins’ mare Island Lass resumes from a spell in the opening event, the Sage Painting F&M Benchmark 58 Handicap (1150m) and she is the class runner. Island Lass races well on the Newcastle course proper where she was a winner and twice runner up last preparation. The four-year-old has not raced since June but has had two recent trials, and Atkins has engaged promising North Coast apprentice Jasper Franklin who claims 1.5 kilograms to ride the mare.

Racing returns to the Newcastle course proper next Sunday when the Newcastle Jockey Clubs Legends Day will be held. The NJC will recognise the contribution to Newcastle racing of Robert Thompson, Kris Lees, Paul Perry, Alan Scorse, John Wade and Gary Harley.