Gary Harley Wrap – 09.04.22

Tough stayer Dr. Evil will head to Tamworth for the feature staying race on Tamworth Cup Day in two weeks following his stunning last to first win at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday.

Trained at Warwick Farm by former Newcastle representative rugby union forward John Steinmetz, Dr. Evil was the subject of a huge plunge going to the barrier as the $2.80 favourite, after $4.40 was available on Friday. The Newcastle track was rated a heavy 10 after continual rain for the past two weeks, and Dr. Evil is a proven mudlark.

Boom Scone apprentice Reece Jones was aboard the gelding in the 1890m QUBE Electrical Benchmark 64 Handicap. The riders instructions from the trainer were to allow the horse to drop out to the tail of the field until he was ready to make his run. The strong stayer was 15 lengths from the leader until the 900m where Jones decided to make ground around the field.

Dr. Evil powered home down the outside fence and he won running away by 1.7 lengths. Steinmetz as normal was the strapper on race day because the stayer is a handful. “Dr. Evil is in career best form and in his last three starts he has won at Goulburn, then finished a close second at Newcastle before today’s win. All three starts have been on heavy tracks. We paid $2,500 for him as a yearling and he has won $84,000, however he got his name for a reason. Dr. Evil is the most difficult horse I have trained. He bites, kicks and hunts anyone out of the stable if you dare to go in. I will say he has gotten a bit easier to handle as he has gotten older. We will head to Tamworth for the Mornington, a $50,000 staying race on Cup Day in two weeks” Steinmetz said.

The trainer has fond memories of Newcastle where he attended Newcastle University in the early 1970’s. “We came from Kendall on the Mid North Coast and dad was a bookmaker. I went to Newcastle Uni and was a teammate of the great John Hipwell in the Newcastle rugby union rep team” Steinmetz said.

Kris Lees bookended the Newcastle meeting with horses raced by Australian Bloodstock. His European import Baltic Coast in his first Australian start romped home in the opening event, the 1400m Pacific Brick Paving Maiden Handicap. Three-year-old filly Terrameades won her third race from five starts when successful in the final event, the Australian Bloodstock Benchmark 64 Handicap 1400m.

The Hunters two crack apprentices Reece Jones and Dylan Gibbons both rode doubles. Leading rider Christian Reith was transported to hospital after his mount fell in the opening event. Racing NSW reported at 8pm Saturday that Christian has a fracture of the T4 vertebra and was waiting to find out what treatment he requires from the specialist.