Newcastle Cup Day Gary Harley – Wrap – 15.09.23
The Newcastle Jockey Club was blessed with 30-degree weather, a perfectly prepared track, big fields in the three Group events and a healthy crowd for Sharp Office Newcastle Cup Day on Friday 15 September. To put the icing on the cake Australia’s best credentialled jockey in history Damian Oliver, and Golden Slipper winning jockey Ben Melham joined all of Sydney’s available jockeys for a great day on the track. All the function areas were full, and it was a tremendous atmosphere on the NJC’s second biggest race day of the year.
Sharp Office Newcastle Gold Cup
Australian racings first lady and Hall Of Famer Gai Waterhouse won her eighth Newcastle Cup, and her third in partnership with Adrian Bott when underrated mare Military Mission, courtesy of a superb ride by Rachel King won the 125th edition of the Newcastle Cup by .34 of a length. The grey, born in Ireland was only moderately away but King drove him forward and the winner had a lovely run one off the fence just forward of midfield. The former English jockey made her run from the 600 metres, and she reached the lead in the shadows of the post. King was relieved to win the Cup after advising Waterhouse to take the blinkers off Military Mission after his last start failure on September 2. “ He can go to sleep in the gates, and he probably did that today as he hadn’t had the blinkers off for some time. He didn’t jump well but we soon got to a nice spot. My first Group win was at Newcastle on Lanciato in the Newmarket, and I won the Spring Stakes on Asiago” King said. The victory secures Military Mission a place in the Group 1 Metropolitan at Randwick next month.
Australian Bloodstock Cameron Handicap
Chris Waller won his first Cameron Handicap when Democracy Manifest came from last near the home turn to win the Group 3 for the in-form Tyler Schiller. The winner produced an amazing turn of foot to run away to a 2.5 length win in track record time. Schiller admitted he was surprised by Democracy Manifest’s lightning turn of foot. “At the 300m I was looking for a gap and there were no options. I was so happy when a gap came, and the horse exploded” Schiller said. Democracy Manifest gains a spot in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap and with a light weight he should run well.
Yarraman Park Stud Tibbie Stakes
Banana Queen prolonged her racing career with an easy win in the Fillies and Mares event. “If she didn’t perform today, it was off to stud but I think she is worth a go a little longer” co-trainer Gerald Ryan said on Friday. The win was Banana Queen’s first in a Group race. The five-year-old was perfectly ridden by three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
Zac Lloyd and Jason Collett both finished the day with doubles. The most impressive win in the minor races came in the opening event, the GTS Lawn Pride Australia Benchmark 68 Handicap (1600m). The three-year-old, Kiwi bred Pushy trained by Michael Freedman maintained his unbeaten record when he won by 3 ¾ lengths with Collett in the saddle.