Gary Harley – Herald – 26.12.23

Speedy local sprinter King’s Duty can provide Newcastle trainer Mark Minervini and his owners with a nice Christmas present by winning the Prince Of Merewether Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1150m) at the Newcastle Jockey Clubs Boxing Day Race meeting on the Beaumont track. Bred and part owned by Gerry Harvey, King’s Duty commenced his career on the Beaumont track in January when he led all the way to win a maiden on a heavy track by 2.44 lengths. In February he came from well back to win at Port Macquarie on a Good 4 track. He was spelled after that win and when he returned in the winter he did not live up to the promise he had shown.

King’s Duty had four starts during June and July and finished at the tail of the field in three of them. After a close second to last week’s Randwick winner Boston Rocks in a Newcastle trial, the four-year-old showed a glimpse of his best form when run down late by the John O’Shea trained Sydney Bowler on this track on December 16. King’s Duty is a very fast horse when he is at his top, he draws perfectly, and Aaron Bullock has the ride.

Chris Waller’s import Thermodynamic is well placed in the opening event, the Des Edser Memorial Maiden Plate (2020m). In three starts this preparation the four-year-old has been placed at Canterbury and on the Kensington track. Last start at Canterbury on December 8 he led until the closing stages when runner up in a 1900m Maiden. Thermodynamic races on the speed and he has a positive inside barrier.

Chris Waller accepted with eleven of his team in the Horsepower Feeds & Supplements Super Maiden Plate (1350m). Discover, Dressel and Listentozou all have the credentials to win this race. Discover was placed at Wyong last start after being slowly away and finishing strongly. He has the blinkers on for the first time and he is much better suited on the more spacious track. He has drawn perfectly and Mitchell Bell takes the ride. Dressel resumes after a short break and has had a recent trial. Before the break he was placed in three starts. Listentozou has not raced since July but trailed okay recently. On July 5 he went back after interference at the start and finished strongly to finish third on the Kensington track.

The Waterhouse-Bott stable will send the Kiwi bred colt Not So Common to contest the Coastline Pool & Spa Maiden Plate (1200m). The Tivaci three-year-old’s only start was at Ipswich on May 17 when placed as a $2 favourite. It was a Heavy 10 track, and he was three wide with no cover before going down by a length. The colt had vet issues following the race and has been placed in two recent trials. The barrier is okay and Koby Jennings has the mount.