Gary Harley – Wrap – 03.02.24

Scone’s Arrowfield Stud and its trainers Paul Messara and Leah Gavranich have another promising galloper in three-year-old Perennial which maintained his unbeaten record when successful at the Newcastle Jockey Clubs race meeting on Saturday.

Perennial, a son of Japanese sire Mikki Isle which stood at stud at Arrowfield was returning from a spell when he was backed from $3 into $2.20 in the final event, the Girls Day Out – Women In Sport Benchmark 64 Handicap (900m). Ridden by Newcastle’s Aaron Bullock, Perennial had to overcome a wide barrier, and despite racing three wide with no cover the gelding sprinted quickly to gather in the leader’s 100 metres from home. He sprinted away to win by 1.72 lengths. It was Perennial’s third race start with his two previous starts resulting in easy wins at Muswellbrook and Scone in June. He is obviously well above average and will appreciate more ground. For Bullock it rounded off a successful day as his two winning rides increased his lead in the New South Wales Jockey’s Premiership.

Bullock produced a gun ride earlier in the day at Newcastle when he steered Paul Perry’s General Soho to victory in the Montgomery Homes Conditional Benchmark 68 Handicap (1400m). The eight-year-old carried topweight of 59½ kilograms and with genuine speed up front Bullock settled the gelding in fifth place. Once in the clear halfway down the straight General Soho unwound and raced away to win by 1.42 lengths. The winner has won 8 races with 10 placings from 42 starts for prizemoney of $299,190. Bullock has ridden 74 winners in New South Wales this season, five ahead of Jason Collett who is in second place.

Blueblood filly The Hawkesbury was beaten but not disgraced when she resumed from a spell in the Container Traders Class 1 Handicap (1300m). The race was won by the speedy Wyong trained Norton Road, which led most of the way but veered off the track in the last 100 metres. Norton Road hung on to beat the fast-finishing Lika Sun and The Hawkesbury by .32 and .49 of a length. The winner, ridden by talented Central Coast apprentice Anna Roper, is trained by Rodney Bailey and the four-year-old is unbeaten in two starts. He bolted in on debut at Wyong on January 18. The Hawkesbury had no excuse however she was first up from a spell and will improve immensely with that run under her belt.

The Kiwis struck early in the day when five-year-old mare Bonaventure outstayed her opposition in the opening event, The A Team Ryan Chad Cherie Heather Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2300m). Bonaventure is trained by former New Zealand trainer Richard Collett and was ridden by his daughter Alysha. The Collett family live in Sydney these days and Richard trains at Warwick Farm. It was Bonaventure’s first win in twelve starts. Alysha rode her a treat third on the rail tracking the favourite Prince of Arendell. She raced clear in the straight to win by 2.06 lengths.

Cosmic Lad trained by Edward Cummings, grandson of the late great Bart Cummings, was an impressive winner at Saturdays meeting. Cosmic Lad, a son of Cox Plate winner Adelaide, came from way back to win the Porter Hire Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1500m) by 2.75 lengths. Unlucky when fourth at Canterbury on debut recently, the three-year-old is bred to appreciate longer trips.

Newcastle hosts another meeting on Tuesday for the Wine Country Race Club, with the meeting transferred from the Beaumont track to the course proper.