Gary Harley – Wrap- 25.02.23

Scone filly More Than A Star landed a long priced plunge for connections when she led all the way to win the MBIB 2yo Maiden Plate (900m) at Saturdays Newcastle race meeting. Don’t be fooled by More Than A Star’s starting price of $31 as corporate bookmakers bet $41, and some nice wagers were landed. Brett Cavanough trains the filly, and he was confident the winner had a good chance in a quality 2YO event. “I told the Sky Channel boys at the track I was confident that my filly would be hard to beat. She is very fast, it was only 900m, and I put one of the best riders on here. I couldn’t believe the price drift, but it looked a good race” Cavanough said.

Brad Rawiller rode a double at the meeting, taking his tally of wins since coming from Western Australia to four form thirteen mounts. The talented Rawiller, closing in on 3000 career winners is based at Warwick Farm, and his Newcastle winners were for Warwick Farm trainers Joe Pride and David Pfieffer.

Pride prepares The Replicant which was rewarded for consistency in the Newcastle Master Builders Apprentices Class 1 Handicap (1500m). The Kiwi bred gelding had been runner up in his previous two starts at Hawkesbury and Kembla. There were only five runner and Rawiller allowed The Replicant to bowl along at the tail of the field before he unleashed along the rail to win by four lengths. Pfieffer’s flashy chestnut Clear Choice led all the way to win the Buildcert Maiden Handicap (1400m). A son of Paul Perry’s start sprinter Choisir, the winner fought hard in the straight to win impressively.

Blueblood three-year-old filly Petersham was an effortless winner of the Coastline Cleaning And Maintenance Maiden Handicap (1400m). Recently transferred to the Waterhouse-Bott stable, the Lonhro filly was ridden to lead from the barriers, and she was never in danger, winning by 2 ¾ lengths.

Andrew Gibbons who only returned to riding recently after illness steered home a double on the program. “Gibbo” led all the way on both winners over the short course of 900m. He was aboard More Than A Star early in the day and completed the double on Alicia Roma in the Master Builders Association Benchmark 64 Handicap. The mare cruised across from an outside barrier and was never headed.

The NJC’s next meeting is the Group 3 Horsepower Newcastle Stakes meeting on Friday.