Gary Harley – Wrap – 12.04.23

Mark Newnham, shortly to leave for Hong Kong to take up a training contract landed a double at the Newcastle race meeting last Wednesday. Newnham’s New Zealand bred filly Silvakia was very impressive when she stormed home late to win the Hunter Valley Premium Meats Benchmark 64 Handicap (1850m). The three-year-old did not handle the heavy track when midfield in the Group 3 Adrian Knox at Randwick on April 1, however the filly was placed in her previous starts at Gosford, Wyong, and Goulburn – and she is a promising stayer.

Stablemate Toesonthenose completed the double for the popular stable when he fought out a close finish in the final event, The Prince of Merewether Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m). Another Kiwi bred, Toesonthenose is lightly raced with two wins and five placings from eight starts.

Crack Newcastle apprentice Dylan Gibbons chalked up his 78½ win for the season when he produced a rail hugging ride on the Anthony Cummings trained Nyika in the Sage Painting Maiden Plate (1600m). The winner came from last in the straight and never went around a horse to win narrowly. “From the top of the straight I just needed fresh air. If I didn’t get it, he was going to be a good thing licked” Gibbons told Sky Racing. Nyika is raced by Gerry Harvey, who bred the son of Medaglia D’Oro.

Former Newcastle trainer Ben Smith was back in town with two-year-old filly West of Dalby which nailed odds on favourite Party Doll in the opening event, the Coastline Pools & Spas Provincial 2&3YO Maiden Handicap (900m). Party Doll held a big lead in the straight, but she shortened stride in the closing stages and West of Dalby nailed her late.

Gun apprentice Zac Lloyd, fresh from a quartet of winners at Warwick Farm on Easter Monday was successful on the Hawkes Stables Lipscani in the Hellbent @ Yarraman Park Maiden Plate (1300m). Lipscani bolted in by three lengths.

The only locally trained galloper to win was Mark Minervini’s Super, successful in the Sharp Office Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m). A track specialist, Super has now won five races on the Newcastle track. He was ridden by Newcastle based apprentice Georgina McDonnell.