Champion jockey James McDonald’s drive up the M1 for one ride on Tuesday was not in vain when his mount Narito was successful in the final event at the Newcastle Jockey Clubs race meeting. Narito, a four-year-old son of Japanese sire Maurice was an odds-on favourite in the Sage Painting Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m), and he did not let supporters down.
The gelding was having his second start after an outstanding win on debut at Wyong recently. He travelled behind the leaders until halfway down the straight where McDonald drove him through a narrow gap, and he raced clear. Narito was nominated for a couple of races during the week, but trainer Chris Waller chose the Newcastle race. McDonald spoke highly of Narito after the Wyong win, and he was full of praise for him again on Tuesday.
“He is still pretty green, but he has untapped ability. Narito has a bright future and I think in the Autumn we will see a really furnished horse” McDonald said.
Former Victorian mare Dente Queen broke through for her first win at her fourth start for Branxton trainer John Bannister. She was a $21 chance in the Strathayr Maiden Handicap (1500m) and the mare stormed home down the centre of the track.
“She just needed a couple of runs to get her fitness up, and the dry track helped. I thought she may have needed one more run then maybe step her up to 1750m, but she was good today” Bannister said.
Jason Collett landed a double at the meeting, riding race to race winners Reginald and Perpignan. Reginald led all the way to win the Sharp Office Class 1 & Maiden Plate (1880m) for Anthony Cummings, and the latter’s son James trains Perpignan – winner of the Coastline Pools & Spas F&M Maiden Plate (1300m). The filly had been placed in three of her six starts, and Darren Beadman was the stable representative on course.
“The last two starts she has raced at Wyong in 1100m races, and she has copped interference at a vital stage. She is not very big, only about 430kg and it is good to get the maiden out of the way and it will give her a lot of confidence” Beadman said. Collett also made comment of Perpignan; “She is a touch aggressive, but her manners were more fine tuned today”.