Newcastle filly Overriding landed a confident plunge in the opening race at Saturday’s Newcastle race meeting. The three-year-old drew the outside of the field in the seven horse Palmieri Conveyancing Benchmark 68 Handicap (1250m), however the barrier did not deter punters from snapping up the short odds. $2.40 was the bet on Friday but there was an avalanche of support for the favourite on Saturday, and she wound up starting at $1.55. Trainer Nathan Doyle has a half share in the filly, and her race record now stands at three wins and a second from five starts. It was a patient ride by Koby Jennings who took her back from the outside barrier and she had little difficulty in running down the leader Rahni Factor.
Godolphin filly Coriolis was rewarded for her consistency with a narrow win in the Australian Bloodstock Maiden Plate (1250m). The Lonhro three-year-old had been runner up in three of her six starts prior to Saturday, however a copy book ride from Koby Jennings made sure she broke through on Saturday.
Annabel Neasham wasn’t in Newcastle on Saturday, but she produced two impressive winners. Two-year-old filly Sound of Heaven, a daughter of I Am Invincible made her debut in the NAC Services 2yo Maiden Plate (900m). She has blistering speed, and the filly speared out of an outside barrier, and she simply ran the opposition off their legs. Sounds Of Heaven is raced by her breeder John Camilleri, the man who bred the great Winx.
Later in the day Neasham’s French Import Aristonous, friendless in betting, scored a surprise win in the Burwood Inn Mark Hughes Foundation Cup (1600m). It was the four-year-olds first Australian start, and he could have a bright future in this country. At his last start in France the gelding was placed over 3550m in October. The winner travelled well midfield, and he sprinted quickly in the latter stages. Neasham’s stable jockey Heavelon Van Der Hoven rode both of her winners.
Koby Jennings, who recently relocated to the Newcastle area, landed a double in the first two races. The Group 1 winning jockey was the punters pal as his two winners Overriding and Coriolis were short-priced favorites. Punters were on the ball early, but not so late in the day with the last two winners Aristonous ($13) and Pitavago ($26) at double figure odds.
There was a full house in the largest function room on course for the Mark Hughes Foundation Fundraiser. Former teammates of Hughes including Kurt Gidley, Bill Peden, Stephen Crowe and Jarrod O’Doherty were on track to support this great charity.