Gray Harley – Herald – 11.06.22

The Hawkes stable 3yo Conspiracist, a well beaten odds-on favourite in his only race start at Hawkesbury on May 19 is expected to atone in the opening event at the Newcastle race meeting on Saturday. The son of Capitalist won two barrier trials before his debut run. In his first trial at Canterbury on November 30, he was allowed to tail out eight lengths off the lead, before finishing strongly to cruise home and win untouched.  After a spell, Conspiracist led all the way to win a Rosehill trial easily. On debut at Hawkesbury, the gelding quickly led after being backed from $2.40 into $1.85. He was under pressure 300 metres out and he tired badly to finish second last, six lengths from the winner. That run was over 1100m on a soft 7, but on Saturday it is a 900m scamper on what is expected to be a soft 5 track. Mitchell Bell, fresh from a treble at last Saturday’s Newcastle meeting has the mount from barrier four.

Newcastle filly Island Lass is enjoying a good preparation and has a great chance in the New Zealand Bloodstock Class 1 Handicap (1200m). The filly has had four starts this preparation, three of which were at Newcastle where she has had a win and two seconds. She was run down late when beaten a neck at Newcastle on March 31. On April 30, Island Lass won a Newcastle Maiden on a heavy 8 track. Last start the filly led and was run down late, beaten a head on May 28 at Newcastle. She loves a wet track, has drawn soft and promising Tamworth apprentice Jackson Searle will claim 3kg.

Chris Waller trained gallopers can win races at Newcastle late in the day. In race six, 4yo mare Adorable Miss lines up for her third start in the Simnco Spa & Shop Maiden Plate (1400m). She finished fourth on debut at Newcastle over 1100m, then last start the mare stepped up to 1200m and was placed – the 1400m on Saturday is ideal. In race seven, Do Well Legend will represent the stable in the Greg Dewes Memorial Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m). The 3yo won on debut at Gosford on Anzac Day before a Warwick Farm failure. Koby Jennings rides the Waller pair.

The meeting winds up with the Horsepower Conditional Benchmark 68 Handicap (1600m). Rock The Bells will be fitter for his first up run on this track on May 14 on a heavy track. He is a winner on this track, and he won his last two starts at Canterbury and Bathurst before a spell earlier this year. Rock The Bells is trained by Michael Freedman and he has the rails barrier.