Sydney based jockey Blake Spriggs who stood down from his engagements at Gosford on Thursday following the birth of his first child will ride at Newcastle on Saturday where he will be aboard the talented Floating a four-year-old heading for bigger things. Spriggs partner Kasey, gave birth to a baby boy Brooklyn Harmon on Wednesday.
The grey Floating trained by Matthew Smith will contest the 1400 metre Astute Financial Maitland Class 1 Handicap which has attracted a quality low grade field, with half the field in some of the states highest profile stables. Floating has only had five starts and after being a handful early in his career the gelding has displayed talent above the ordinary in his past two starts both at Newcastle.
In earlier starts he had a tendency to race fierce however, he has been allowed to do his own thing at the tail of the field in his two Newcastle start which have been eye catchers. Spriggs has never ridden Floating with Keagan Latham aboard in his Newcastle starts. Floating put the writing on the wall with an incredible last 50 metres when beaten .91 of a length at Newcastle on September 24. Last start at Newcastle on October 11 on a heavy track the grey came from last to blitz a Maiden field by four lengths. Floating steps up to the 1400 metres which is more favourable.
The Hawkes stables 3-year-old Golden Age led all the way to win a Warwick Farm Maiden on October 19 and he looks the main threat to Floating.
Chris Wallers’ Fuller won a Sandown Maiden in April, and he had no luck second up at Newcastle on October 11.
Kris Lees has three runners with Viennoisrie unlucky last start clearly the best.
Paul Perry’s 3-year-old Forecaster resumes in the opening event the Elders Insurance Maitland Midway Class 1 Handicap (900m) and he has outstanding credentials. Forecaster won a Canterbury Maiden first up on a heavy track in May before a close second at Randwick on June 11. The gelding has drawn nicely, and Aaron Bullock has the mount.
Another Newcastle trainer Sam Kavanagh will run his Great Britain import Wrathful in the Hunt Hospitality Maiden Handicap (1400m). The four-year old’s only career start was at Warwick Farm on October 19 when he finished fourth 1.87 lengths behind Golden Age. Ash Morgan who recently returned from overseas has the mount.
The New Zealand bred filly Fall For Cindy had her first race start in the Paterson Tavern Maiden Plate (1250m) trained by John O’Shea the 3-year-old comes off a nice quiet Rosehill trial.