Gary Harley – Preview – 08.04.23

Smart colt Boyfriend, responsible for an eye catching first up performance at Warwick Farm three weeks ago is set to break through for his first win at the Newcastle Jockey Club race meeting on the Course Proper this Saturday. The three-year-old will contest the Horsepower CG&E Maiden Plate (1200m).

The Snitzel colt had four starts, all on wet tracks in his two-year-old season in 2022. He was beaten 1 ½ lengths in The Lonhro on debut in February 2022. Second up, Boyfriend was two lengths from top two-year-old Best Of Bordeaux in the Group 2 Silver Slipper. On a Heavy 10 in the Group 2 Todman, he flashed home to finish second – 0.62 from the winner Sejardan.  Boyfriend then went to the paddock after easing out of the Baillieu at Rosehill in March. The now three-year-old resumed after a 12-month break on a Soft 6 at Warwick Farm, and after being slow away stormed home to finish 1 ½ lengths from the winner. Brad Rawiller will ride Boyfriend for Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou.

Former country galloper Akaka Falls, racing in good form since joining the Brad Widdup stable can atone for a luckless third on this track last start when he runs in the TAB Venue Mode Benchmark 68 Handicap (1200m). The gelding won impressively first up for Widdup at Canberra on February 3, and he has had no luck when placed in subsequent starts at Gosford and Wyong.  At Gosford he was trapped three wide with no cover and finished 1 ¾ lengths from the winner. Similarly at Wyong he was wide with no cover from the 600m before storming home to go down narrowly. Akaka Falls has barrier one on Saturday, and Grant Buckley has the mount.

Ultra consistent Newcastle mare Decadent Tale can overcome a horror draw when she contests the Prince Of Merewether Mile Benchmark 68 Handicap (1600m). The five-year-old has been placed in all four starts this preparation. She was run down late on the Kensington track when a length from the winner last start.

Chris Waller’s well-bred filly I Am Jade is set to break through in the Hungerford Hill F&M Maiden Plate (1200m). The I Am Invincible three-year-old was unlucky when a fast finishing second at Kembla last start. She was held up on the turn and sprouted wings late.

John Sargent’s New Zealand bred stayer Casual Connection is out to protect his unbeaten Newcastle record in the Sharp Office Benchmark 64 Handicap (2300m). The four-year-old is unbeaten in two Newcastle starts over 1600m and gives the indication he will run the 2300m trip.