Leading Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla has a full book of rides at the Cessnock meeting at Broadmeadow on Tuesday, and all six of his mounts are trained by Kris Lees. The most interesting of Avdullas mounts is the three-year-old half-sister to Group 1 winner In Her Time.
Glowing Red is the filly’s name, and she is TAB second favourite at $4.40 in the Coastline Pools and Spas Maiden Plate (1200m). The filly debuted at Gosford on November 10, with apprentice Tom Sherry aboard. She was slowly away but improved along the rail to settle in fourth place. Sherry steered Glowing Red around the leader at the top of the straight and she looked the winner, only to be run down late and go down by less than half a length.
That race experience and the extra 200 metres on Tuesday are positives in a competitive race, Glowing Red has a good chance to notch up her first win. Avdulla has two other well fancied mounts for Lees. They are No Laughing Matter ($3.80 TAB) in The Prince Of Merewether Class 1 Handicap (1200m) and Berruti in the New Zealand Bloodstock Benchmark 58 Handicap (1350m).
With the odds-on favourite Bat Pad an unlikely starter after racing at Gosford on Saturday, No Laughing Matter could end up a short, priced favourite. The filly was an easy Wyong trial winner on November 11.
Berruti is bred in the purple and boasts two Group 1 winning half-brothers in Deep Field and Shooting To Win. He’s had four starts for a win and a second, starting the punter’s elect each time. He should be hard to beat from the rails barrier.
Lees, who has accepted with 14 of his team, has booked the in-form Aaron Bullock to ride is short- priced favourite Ciao Uno ($1.80 TAB) in the final event the Hungerford Hill Wines Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m). The filly has had five starts for a win and three placings. First up at Port Macquarie on October 25, she won her Maiden by 5 ½ lengths. Ciao Uno was then beaten half a length at her last start on the same track.
Bullock rode three winners at Quirindi on Sunday to take his season tally in less than four months to forty two.
An interesting ride for Bullock is the three year old gelding Lumber Dream in the Red Funnel Maiden (1350m). Trained by Lees for Queensland clients Ron and Judy Wanless, Lumber Dream is the son of the owners crackerjack mare Lights Of Heaven, a multiple Group winning daughter of Zabeel. He is on debut after three trials, including one over 1000 metres at Gosford five weeks ago when beaten 2.7 lengths in a competitive hit-out. He debuts with blinkers on.
The Newcastle Jockeys Club will hold its annual Legend’s Race Day on Sunday 29 November.