Three Sydney jockeys Jean Van Overmeire, Jason Collett and Chad Schofield rode two winners at the Newcastle Jockey Clubs meeting last Thursday. Van Overmeire only recently returned home after a six-month stint in Dubai where he rode eighteen winners, and at the previous Newcastle meeting he rode a treble.
On Thursday Van Overmeire was aboard the heavily backed $3 favourite Zambrero in the Kloster Motor Group Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1850m). The son of Paul Perry’s Golden Slipper winner Stratum was given a nice trail behind the speedy Time Raid before taking the lead inside the ‘100’. Time Raid fought back, however Zambrero was too strong winning by .24 of a length. Matthew Smith trains the winner who has a good Newcastle record with two wins from four starts.
Van Overmeire’s other winner was the Brad Widdup trained Hayatti in the Sharp Office Maiden Plate (1200m). The three-year-old was backing up from a close second at Nowra on debut on April 8. Hayatti was last into the straight, but he gradually wore the opposition down to win impressively.
Jason Collett opened the day aboard the promising Hawkesbury four-year-old Stars And Bars in the Prosperity Advisors Group Provincial Maiden Handicap (1300m). The gelding from the Attard stable was a long odds-on favourite after a close second on his home track three weeks earlier. Collett book ended the meeting when the heavily backed Ringarosa came from near last to claim victory on the post in the Prince Of Merewether Benchmark 64 Handicap (900m). Gary Portelli trains the mare who is building an impressive record of three wins and a second from four starts.
Mark Newnham, shortly moving to Hong Kong for a two-year training stint prepared Chad Schofield’s first winner, King Adviso in the Horsepower Feeds & Supplements Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m). A son of Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom, King Adviso led all the way, and the 4-year-old was never threatened. Gorgeous Zara, an odds-on favourite when run down at Newcastle the previous start, atoned with a solid win with Schofield aboard in the New Era Technology Maiden Plate (1850m). The John O’Shea trained filly was patiently ridden and she was strong late.
Annabel Neasham combined with her promising apprentice Jett Stanley to win the New Zealand Bloodstock Maiden Handicap (1500m). The filly had not won in five previous starts, but Thursday’s win will not be her last. Former Group 1 winning jockey Craig Carmody’s mare The Artefact, backed form $81 into $41 found her best form to win the Brave Smash @ Yarraman Park Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m).