Hawkesbury based jockey Jeff Penza created history at the Newcastle Racecourse on The Sharp Office Newcastle Gold Cup Day on Friday. The popular hoop rode the winners in all three Group 3 events on the day.
The Cup Day had everything, perfect weather conditions, a well prepared track after 101 millimetres of rain five days earlier and a cracking eight race program. The $250,000 Group 3 Sharp Office Newcastle Gold Cup attracted a quality field of stayers and once again Australia’s leading trainer Chris Waller who triumphed.
Great House a five year-old bred in Ireland by Coolmore in only his twelfth race start outstayed the opposition with Penza aboard. Waller prepared four runners in the Cup with Great House the third best fancied of the quartet at $13.
Champion New Zealand trainer Murray Baker and his trainer partner Andrew Forman trained the runner up Quick Thinker which was gallant.
Waller also trained the minor placegetter No Compromise. It was Waller’s fourth Newcastle Cup winner in the past seven years. Penza is a very good front running rider and he was seen at his best on Madam Legend in the $160,000 Yarraman Park Tibbie Stakes (1400M)
The legendary Les Bridge trains the winner which went to the barriers as a $9.50 chance. Madam Legend came out of the outside barrier and Penza revved her up to lead from the outset. The mare kicked at the top of the straight and held on to beat Mirra Vison by .11 of a length.
Bridge trained the quinella in the 1987 Newcastle Gold Cup when The Brotherhood beat the subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Kensei.
Penza brought up his Group 3 treble when the front running Ashman led throughout in the Australian Bloodstock Cameron Handicap (1500m). Wyong trainer Kim Waugh is the third trainer for Ashman and it was his second win in five starts for Waugh.
Ashman led throughout and held on to beat the fast finishing Novocastrian Sky Lab. The quietly spoken Penza, a man of few words had this to say at the end of the day.
“It was a great thrill for myself. I ride at Newcastle every provincial meeting but to come here on such a big day and ride Group 3 winners is rewarding”
Warwick Farm trainer Gary Portelli landed a double with Clyde and the speedy Capital Reign.