The $50,000 Jungle Juice Cup, the highlight of the Newcastle Jockey Club’s marathon ten race program on Saturday was won by the most inexperienced horse in the race. The NJC’s decision to boost the prizemoney and place conditions on the Jungle Juice Cup was a winner with a capacity field plus emergencies.
Ang Pow, a four-year-old having only his eighth race start maintained his undefeated record on the Newcastle track with an authoritative 1 ½ length victory. It was a superb win as Ang Pow had to overcome a wide barrier and sit three wide with no cover during the race. He dashed to the lead halfway down the straight and was never challenged. In form Branxton trained galloper Scorched Land finished strongly to claim second place ahead of the Canberra gelding Manderboss.
It was Ang Pow’s fourth win from eight starts, with two placings. He went into the cup following a luckless, unplaced run at Rosehill on September 28. That day he was last to leave the barriers and badly checked in the straight. Ang Pow is trained by members of one of Australia’s most famous racing families – the Freedman’s. For decades, Richard Freedman trained in Victoria with his brothers Lee, Michael, and Anthony. Together the brothers won multiple Melbourne Cups, Golden Slippers, and Group 1’s. Earlier this year Richard and his son William formed a partnership training from Rosehill, and Ang Pow is in their stable.
Newcastle trainer Patrick Cleave was over the moon when his seven-year-old gelding Omar narrowly won the Benchmark 64 Handicap (900m). The horse was formerly trained by Gerald Ryan and Saturday’s win was his second in 20 starts since entering the Cleave stable.
Paul Perry’s Olympic Gaze displayed his liking for his home track when he held off the challengers late to win the final event – the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1600m). The winner came from the tail of the field and gave jockey Rory Hutchings victory in the first and last races. Hutchings and the imported stayer Iowa led all the way to win the Class 1 and Maiden Plate (2350m) earlier in the day. Jean Van Overmeire also landed a double with Wondereach and Ang Pow.