Gary Harley – Wrap – 22.04.2023

Newcastle trainers won four of the eight races at Saturday’s race meeting on their home track. In race order the quartet included Bak Da Man (Nathan Doyle), Amokura (Kris Lees), Nosey Parker (Paul Perry) and New Republic (Mark Minervini).

Bak Da Man a Kiwi bred, formally trained in Victoria by Mick Price and Michael Kent Junior, was a huge drifter in betting in the Quarry Mining Benchmark 64 Handicap (1850m). The five-year-old opened at $4.60 and drifted to $7.50. Despite Bak Da Man having a very good second up record, Doyle told Sky Racing prior to the race that the horse probably needed the outing.  Lake Macquarie based jockey Koby Jennings allowed the winner to settle third the fence, and he drifted back to last on the turn. The gelding outstayed his rivals to win by 3 lengths. It was Doyle’s 45th winner in NSW this season.

Amokura, beaten 10 lengths in her previous start at Hawkesbury won the Newcastle Skin Check Provincial Maiden Plate (1850m) by the biggest margin of the day. The filly with Darryl McLellan aboard unleashed from back in the straight to win by 8.85 lengths.  Trainer Kris Lees warned listeners on Sydney radio on Saturday morning that Amokura had no luck at Hawkesbury, and he gave her a good chance on Saturday. She was friendless in betting and eventually started a $6 chance.

Paul Perry’s three-year-old Nosey Parker, enjoying his best preparation won his second race on the trot when successful in the John Whitmore Memorial Midway Class 1 Handicap (1250m). This preparation the gelding has two wins and three placings from five starts. He is a back marker and Blake Spriggs allowed Nosey Parker to bowl along in last place. Spriggs stuck to the rail in the straight and the gelding bolted in by 5.91 lengths. It was a very popular win for the Perry family, as the winner’s sire Choisir was the trainer’s favourite racehorse.

Former South Australian trainer Mark Minervini combined with Hunter Valley jockey Mikayla Weir to land New Republic a winner of the final event, the Sharp Office Conditional Benchmark 68 Handicap (1500m). It was New Republic’s second Newcastle win.

Two of Australia’s champion trainers prepared a winner at the meeting. Chris Waller was successful with $8 chance Lyrical Gangster while Gai Waterhouse in partnership with Adrian Bott sent Long Tycoon a heavily backed favourite to Newcastle.

Local jockey Aaron Bullock, successful aboard Lyrical Gangster leads the NSW Jockeys Premiership with 123½ winners with 3 months remaining in the season. He is 21½ winners ahead of James McDonald who is in second place.