New South Wales’ two leading apprentices Zac Lloyd and Dylan Gibbons rode the first two winners at the Newcastle Jockey Clubs race meeting on Tuesday. Those punters who took the odds-on about Grand Larceny in the opening event, the PFD Food Services 3yo Maiden Handicap (900m) never had any worries after Lloyd took the blueblood three-year-old colt to the lead from the outset. Grand Larceny kicked away when Lloyd gave him a couple of slaps with the whip at the 300m and he went on to win by 1.6 lengths.
Trained by the Hawkes family, the colt is a son of top sire Zoustar, and he is a half-brother to The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes. Previously, he was in Hawkes’ Melbourne stable where he was placed in his only other start. Grand Larceny had only been back in the Sydney stable a week before Tuesdays win.
Gibbons had an armchair ride on Go Troppo, a 3 ½ length winner of the Australian Bloodstock Benchmark 64 Handicap (1850m). Gibbons allowed the winner to trail the speedy Mellencamp, with a huge gap to the others. Once the apprentice called on Go Troppo at the top of the straight, the six-year-old raced away. Trained by David Pfieffer, Go Troppo is unbeaten in two starts at Newcastle.
Hunter Valley apprentice Braith Nock rode his first provincial winner when he brought Arrowfield four-year-old Rematch from last at the top of the straight to win the Coastline Pool & Spa Class 1 Handicap (1300m). Trained in partnership by Paul Messara and Leah Gavranich, the son of Japanese sire Real Impact has only had five starts for two wins and two seconds. Rematch’s previous four starts had been on country tracks.
In form Sydney jockey Tyler Schiller rode the last two winners, which has him in third place in the NSW Jockeys Premiership with 28 winners for the season. Schiller was aboard four-year-old mare There There, which ended a frustrating run of minor placings when she won the Hellbent @ Yarraman Park Maiden Plate (1300m). The four-year-old trailed the leader Narrative until halfway down the straight before surging clear to win by .68 of a length. There There had been placed in six of her seven starts prior to Tuesday, and she is trained by the Maher- Eustace stable, leaders in the Australian Trainers Premiership for the current season.
Schiller’s other winner, The Seven Seas benefited from a patient ride when she bolted in with the Allied The Careful Movers Benchmark 68 Handicap (1500m). In her previous two starts when placed at Newcastle and Wyong, the mare was ridden on the speed however, on Tuesday Schiller allowed her to drop out to third last and she produced a terrific turn of foot down the straight to win by 3.28 lengths.
Randwick trainer Michael Freedman has a good strike rate at Newcastle, and his filly Just Gisella, backed from $3.10 into $2.80 narrowly won the Lees Racing Class 1 Handicap (1300m). The filly held off runner up Princess Cruizer to record her second win in five starts.
The $50,000 TLE Jungle Juice Cup will be run at Newcastle on Saturday. With the closure of racing at Cessnock, the NJC decided to continue staging the Cup at Newcastle and coinciding with the TAB “The Everest”, a healthy crowd is expected. The Jungle Juice Cup king Robert Thompson will officiate at the presentation.