Gary Harley – Wrap – 25.03.24

7 -year- old Newcastle mare Kikikapow, arguably in career best form, notched up her sixth career win in the 2100 metre New Era Technology Benchmark 58 Handicap at the Newcastle Jockey Club’s Wine Country Race meeting on the Beaumont track on Monday. Trained by Steve Hodge who shares in the ownership group with close friends Brad and Francis Marshall and others, the mare carried 59 kilograms after the claim for promising North Coast apprentice Molly Fitzgerald. She dropped in class following two Benchmark 64 performances on the Newcastle course proper when she was beaten less than a length on both occasions. Kikikapow was solidly backed from $6.50 into $4.40. On Monday and after settling 5th on the rail the mare was shuffled back and badly held up for some time in the straight. Fitzgerald was patient and she gained a split 200 metres out and the winner unleashed to run down the leader Every Effort. The win took the daughter of Ad Valorem prizemoney to more than $136,000.

8- year- old Gidgee Guy won his first race for Narromine trainer Kylie Kennedy when he stormed home to win the final race, the Lees Racing Country Boosted Benchmark 66 Handicap (1150m). As much as $81 was bet about Gidgee Guy which was a $41 chance when the gates opened. The gelding was in the second half of the field until the home turn and jockey Grant Buckley was looking for clear running in the straight. The split came late and Gidgee Guy reached the lead in the final stages. Kennedy is the winner’s fourth trainer in his 57 starts and it was his ninth start for the Narromine trainer. Giddy Guy won three races for original trainer Les Tilley, one for Allen Denham and two for Peter Sinclair. He has now won prizemoney of $215,185. Retired champion jockey Robert Thompson won races on Gidgee Guy early in the horse’s career and he was on track on Monday.

Kris Lees produced a nice filly Pisa Cake winning on debut in the Davali TBS Easter Yearlings F&M Maiden Plate (1200m). Dylan Gibbons rode her in an impressive trial win on the Beaumont track on February 28. The filly, a daughter of Victora Derby winner Prized Icon which later joined Lees stable sat outside the leader until Gibbons gave her full rein 200 metres out and she dashed clear. Pisa Cake  held off the favourite Black Tiara to win narrowly, punters obviously were not confident that Pisa Cake could win as her starting price of $8.50 indicated.

Newcastle- Hunter Hall Of Fame trainer Pat Farrell was in the winner’s stall with Pee Dee, a $7.50 chance in the NZB Airfreight Benchmark 58 Handicap (1300m). 4 kilogram claiming Hunter Valley apprentice Ella Drew rode Pee Dee which won his sixth start form 47 appearances.