The Newcastle Jockey Club’s Legends Day will be held at the Newcastle Racecourse on Sunday. The NJC’s six Legends are John Wade, Robert Thompson, Alan Scorse, Paul Perry, Kris Lees, and yours truly.
James McDonald has been booked for one ride at the meeting, and that horse is the unraced I Am Invincible two-year-old filly Blanc De Blanc in the opening event, the O’Neills Tyres Rutherford Paul Perry 2yo Maiden Handicap (900m). The Michael Freedman trained filly’s only trial was on the Kensington track on November 8 where she had three opponents, and she careered away in the straight to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Blanc De Blanc has drawn nicely and is a $1.60 chance in early markets.
Former Newcastle trainer Ben Smith has recently returned to the training ranks at Kembla, and he saddles up Oblique in the O’Neills Tyres Maitland 50 Years Provincial Maiden Plate (1300m). Oblique will be starting for the first time for Smith, and he has barrier one and Mitchell Bell rides. The gelding is a $2.40 favourite in early markets.
Three-year-old filly Tragara, placed in her past four starts is set to break through in the O’Neills Tyres Rutherford Alan Scorse Memorial Maiden Handicap (1300m). Tragara attempted an all the way win at Canterbury last on November 11, when she was beaten just over a length. Her previous three starts were at Newcastle, and she was placed in all three. The filly has a nice soft draw – and has the speed to utilise it.
John O’Shea’s imported stayer Sound Of Cannons is well placed in the O’Neills Tyres Rutherford Gary Harley Benchmark 64 Handicap (2340m). The gelding stood flat footed at the start when outclassed in the Beauford at Newcastle on The Hunter day. However, he was placed in his two previous starts at Rosehill and on the Kensington track. At Rosehill on November 5 on a Good 3, Sound Of Cannons went down by a neck. Regan Bayliss will make the trip to ride the five-year-old.
Bjorn Baker’s filly Flying Shelly is on debut in the O’Neills Tyres Maitland Kris Lees 3yo & Up Maiden Handicap (900m), and she is an interesting runner. The three-year-old has won her past three trials by good margins.
The meeting winds up with the O’Neills Tyres Maitland Robert Thompson Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) and Kris Lees’ mare Sequana has a good chance. She wasn’t far away when coming from last to finish third after being held up at her most recent start. Regan Bayliss rides form a soft draw.