Gary Harley – Wrap – 01.06.24

The Newcastle Jockey Club’s race meeting on Saturday was postponed after four races as jockeys raised concerns with Stewards relating to the track conditions deteriorating and the visibility following continuing rain throughout the day.

Twenty-one-year-old Scone apprentice Braith Nock took his season tally to eighty-one winners when he steered the John O’Shea trained filly Ladyking to a 9 ½ length victory in the Newcastle Transport Specialists Super Maiden Plate (1890m). Ladyking relished the heavy track after settling in fourth place before Nock drove her through a gap at the top of the straight and she continued to put a space between herself and her opponents.

It was Nock’s fourth provincial track win in his seventeen-month career, and it was his first ride for O’Shea. He is in the top ten in the New South Wales Premiership, and second behind Zac Lloyd in the Apprentices Premiership. Brett Cavanough, Nock’s master has indicated that the young man who has no claim on country tracks will be riding regularly on the provincial tracks where he has a 3kg claim.

Local trainers Sam Kavanagh and David Atkins trained two of the four winners. Kavanagh’s mare Spirit Of Storm, luckless in recent runs broke through for her second win in eleven starts when successful in the Sharp Office Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1200m). Both of the mares’ wins have been at Newcastle and on Saturday she traveled in fourth place in the small field before Jean Van Overmeire steered her in to the better going out wide. After taking the lead Spirit Of Storm held off the heavily backed Kris Lees trained Imposant to win by a length.

Atkins’ filly Scholl Deep led all the way for an easy win in the Burwood Inn Class 1 Handicap (1400m). Scholl Deep was heavily backed into $2.90 and Port Macquarie jockey Ben Looker allowed her to stride along unchallenged in front and the filly was never threatened to win by 1.39 lengths. The winner, bred and raced by long time Atkins client Matt Chidgey has had ten starts for two wins and five placings.

Newcastle Hunter Hall of Famer Peter Snowden and his training partner son Paul were successful in the opening event, the NAC Services 2yo Maiden Plate (900m) with the well credentialled colt Counteroffensive. Counteroffensive, who was Group 3 placed at Caulfield in February was first up after one quiet trial. The son of Deep Field raced in second place before surging clear late in the race.

The Newcastle Jockey Club has three more Saturday meetings this month on June 15, 22 and 29.