Promising local 3yo Harvey’s Way can return to the winners list when he steps out in the Novocastrian Electrical Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m) at the Newcastle Jockey Club’s race meeting on Thursday. Trained by David Atkins, the gelding should be at his top after two starts this preparation. The son of Cox Plate winner Adelaide has had six starts for two wins and two placings. Harvey’s Way excels on his home track where he has a win, and two placings from four starts.
He was run off his legs in the 1200m Gosford Provincial – Midway Qualifier first up on March 12. Second up, Harvey’s Way never handled a Heavy 10 rated track at Newcastle. He has won on soft and good rated tracks and hopefully there will be limited or no rain on Thursday. Apprentice Chris Williams will claim 1 1/2kg.
The Chris Waller trained Podium, placed in all three starts in his first preparation is set for a first up victory in the OAS Technology Maiden Plate (1300m). Placed at Wyong, Warwick Farm and Rosehill in the spring, the 3yo resumes after a nice trial in which he closed off late under no pressure. Podium was a dual acceptor for this meeting, but Waller opted to run in this race.
A fighting win on his home track indicates Outburst is ready to step up to Provincial class in the Charlestown Square Benchmark 64 Handicap (1850m). The lightly raced 4yo, placed in a Listed race at Doomben in June 2020 has recorded two wins and three placings from six starts. A son of Japanese sire Real Impact, Outburst won a strong country Class 1 “mile” at Scone second up recently. He has a soft draw and Aaron Bullock rides Outburst for the third time this preparation.
Randwick trainer John Thompson will send 3yo Aircraftman to Newcastle in an attempt to break through for his first win. The gelding, with three placings from seven starts will run in the Allied Moving Services Maiden Handicap (1200m). Aircraftman has been placed in two Canterbury starts recently and Regan Bayliss makes the trip to ride him.
The speedy Optimo has his first start for new trainer Marc Quinn in the Avid PM Benchmark 68 Handicap (1200m), after the 4yo cruised to victory in a recent Port Macquarie trial. He was narrowly beaten in a Benchmark 64 on the Kensington track on December 3, and he was placed in a Randwick Highway a week before Christmas.