Gary Harley – Wrap – 26-09-2023

Punters who like betting on favorites had a bonanza at Wine Country Race Club’s meeting on the Beaumont track on Tuesday, when favorites won six of the seven races. The weather was perfect, and the Beaumont track was on fire, and as predicted the powerful Waterhouse-Bott training partnership sent two promising three-year-olds to Newcastle – and both were successful.

The first of the team, Head Of The Herd was a $1.55 favourite in the opening event, the Coastline Pool & Spa Maiden Plate (1150m). Adam Hyeronimus bounded the son of Snitzel out of the barriers in front, and he led throughout. There were anxious moments in the closing stages as the Kris Lees trained Invincible Whip joined the winner, however Head Of The Herd held on to win by 0.8 of a length. Don’t judge the winner on Tuesday’s win as he will be a better horse when allowed to settle back, and he wants a longer trip.

Regan Bayliss made the trip to Newcastle for one mount aboard the Waterhouse-Bott trained filly Alot A Lip, and he had an armchair ride. She was backed into $1.40 and after spearing out of the barriers clear of the field, she bolted in by two lengths.

Scone trainer Luke Pepper shared the training honours for the day with two impressive winners. Wyong apprentice Anna Roper was aboard both of the former Canberra trainer’s winners. Pepper’s four-year-old Press The Pedal had the best form going into the Davali Thoroughbreds Maiden Handicap (1350m), and he went to the barriers at $1.75. He had to be used up early to lead from the outside barrier, and was then taken on in front, and despite drifting out in the closing stages he hung on to win by 0.74 of a length.

Pepper’s Fine Vintage was the easiest winner on the day, when he led all the way to win the final event, the New Era Technology Benchmark 58 Handicap (1150m). A last start winner, the four-year-old ran his rivals into the ground to win by 3.87 lengths.

Lightly raced four-year-old mare Hellcibell has a bright future judging on her 3.55 length win in the Australian Bloodstock Class 1 Handicap (1200m). Trained by Brett Cavanough for high profile Queensland owner Linda Huddy, Hellcibell has had three starts. She was backed off the map on debut at Scone on August 21 when an unlucky second. The mare beat two subsequent winners at Scone on September 5, before Tuesday’s victory.

Local trainers Mark Minervini and Kris Lees trained a winner each on the seven-race program. Minervini’s lightly raced Kiwi bred five-year-old Got An Inspiration put the writing on the wall in his previous start on Newcastle Cup Day when a fast finishing third in a strong class. On Tuesday the son of Vadamos outclassed his opponents in The Lawn Shed Benchmark 58 Handicap (2130m) courtesy of a gun ride from Grant Buckley.

Lees’ mare Velvet Haze was impressive in an easy win in the Kloster Motor Group Benchmark 58 Handicap (1300m). Ridden a treat by the trainers’ apprentice Ben Osmond, a Dungog boy, the four-year-old was strong late, winning by 2.75 lengths. She has won three from nine.