Gary Harley – Herald – 24.06.2023

Three-year-old filly Announcing, unlucky first up on this track on June 10 can atone in the Klein Tools Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) at Saturday’s Newcastle race meeting. The John O’Shea trained filly has only had four starts and she kicked off her career with a strong Gosford maiden win in January.

Announcing had two subsequent starts in February and performed well. After a spell she resumed at Newcastle on June 10 and she put the writing on the wall with a strong finishing fourth, 1 ¾ lengths from the winner. Announcing was trapped wide with no cover near the tail of the field and she was doing her best work late. Mitchell Bell has been booked to ride the filly and she will be fitter on Saturday.

James Cummings’ two-year-old colt Shako returns to Newcastle for his second race start in the HPM Legrand Excel Life Smart 2yo Maiden Plate (900m). On debut on June 3 with Christian Reith in the saddle the colt began quickly and settled in the box seat behind the leaders. Shako challenged strongly all the way down the straight before going down by ¾ length. The colt has a perfect barrier and has good speed.

Michael Freedman’s I Am Invincible four-year-old Diamond Drummer can break through at it’s twelfth race start in the APS – Industry Has A New Choice Maiden Handicap (1600m). In November last year he was placed at Hawkesbury, Wyong, and Canterbury. Second up on June 10 Diamond Drummer was run down late in a stronger race than this. The rails barrier is a positive.

Harry Tudor an imported son of the great Frankel, runner up in his two starts this preparation is well placed in the Robus Duke 2 Maiden Plate (1400m). The in-form Jean Van Overmeire has the mount from barrier two. Both the three-year-olds placings have been at Gosford and Hawkesbury, and this is not a strong race.

Gently Rolled, placed in three of his four starts has the form on the board to win The Iconic Schneider Classic Midway Maiden Handicap (1600m). He is a backmarker and steps up from 1250m to 1600m on Saturday. He should enjoy a lovely run from barrier one.