Gary Harley Wrap – Cessnock & Jungle Juice Cup

The postponed Jungle Juice / Cessnock Cup race meeting on the Newcastle Track on Tuesday was a bonanza for favourite backers with five of the eight winners the punters elects. While it was a popular local win by General Soho in the Jungle Juice Cup and an easy win by progressive stayer Unamerican in the Cessnock Cup, the incredible Newcastle track was the shinning light of the day.

After 91mm of rain fell on the track the previous day (150mm for the week) the track was rated a heavy 8 at 7:30am on race morning. Incredibly the track because of its magnificent drainage was upgraded to a soft 6 by race four.

Described recently by leading Sydney trainer John O’Shea as the best track in Australia, the Newcastle track stood tall again on Tuesday.

Paul Perry won his first Jungle Juice Cup when his five-year-old General Soho was successful by a length from the unlucky Zouologist with Wyong trained Domed a neck away third.

Newcastle trained All From Scrap set a solid speed up front and Aaron Bullock was content to sit behind the leader in second place aboard General Soho. When called upon in the straight, General Soho the heavily backed $2.15 favourite, knuckled down and hit the line hard. Zouologist was three-wide all the way and his performance was outstanding. General Soho has now won 6 of his 25 starts with 5 placings and prizemoney of $173,000.

Progressive Stayer Unamerican, a raging hot $1.30 favourite, made short work of the opposition in the East Cessnock Bowling Club Cessnock Cup. All of Unamericans’ three wins have been at Newcastle where he is at home on the spacious Newcastle track. Trained by Freedman brothers Richard and Michael, the son of Melbourne Cup winner American has proven that he can run 2300 metres and the four-year-old has a bright future. On Tuesday he bowled along in front and raced away in the straight to win by 2¾ lengths.

Local trainer Jeremy Smith prepared the longest priced winner of the day, $21 chance Freddie Eddie. The three-year-old caught the eye with a fast finishing Gosford trial performance on October 14. Freddie Eddie led throughout for former Kiwi jockey Amelia Denby and he bolted in by more than three lengths.