Gary Harley – Wrap – 29.10.22

Imported four-year-old Wrathful created a huge impression in only his second race start at the Newcastle Jockey Clubs meeting on Saturday. The Great Britain bred gelding is trained locally by Sam Kavanagh, and he stepped out on Saturday in the Hunt Hospitality Provincial Maiden Handicap (1400m).

Wrathful debuted in a 1400m Warwick Farm Maiden on October 19 when he ran on strongly from midfield to finish fourth, two lengths from the winner. On Saturday he was the $1.85 favourite, and he was allowed to settle midfield before setting out after the leader Edge Of Reward in the home straight, and he reached the lead in the shadows of the post. Kavanagh purchased the horse online in an Irish sale on behalf of clients close on 2 years ago. The trainer who was forced to withdraw the promising Kayobi from the $500,000 Four Pillars at Rosehill on Saturday because the horse was not 100% was elated with Wrathful’s victory.

“This horse has been a work in progress, so we have given him plenty of time. He is a real talent, and I know he is classed as a four-year-old here, but he is a three-year-old by European standards. Today the runner up was five lengths in front of Wrathful at the 600m, but my horse was very strong late. I will probably start him in a 1600m Midway at Newcastle on Hunter Day in two weeks then spell him” Kavanagh said.

New father Blake Spriggs had four mounts on the day for a win and two placings. Spriggs was aboard $10 chance Definitely Maybe, narrow winner of The Paterson Tavern F&M Maiden Plate (1200m). The mare had been placed in three of her five starts, and there were excuses when placed at Kembla last start as she lost a plate during the race. Matthew Smith, one of Spriggs’ main supporters trains the winner.  Spriggs’ partner Kasey gave birth to their first child Brooklyn on Wednesday.

Paul Perry’s talented three-year-old Forecaster made a successful return to racing with a fast-finishing win in the opening event, the Elders Insurance Maitland Class 1 Handicap (900m). During the winter the gelding won at Canterbury first up followed by an unlucky and close third at Randwick. He failed at Randwick on July 6 but pulled up lame and then went for a spell.

Another Newcastle trainer Scott Aspery was in the winner’s circle with the ultra-consistent Annulus in the Australian Construction Group Benchmark 68 Handicap (1600m). The four-year-old has won three from twelve with six placings.

Mitchell Bell had a good day with a treble, while Aaron Bullock rode a double on the program.