Newcastle Newmarket Wrap

Kris Lees incredible run of success in the Group 3 Horsepower Newcastle Newmarket continued on March 4 when Newcastle leading trainer won his fourth Newmarket on the trot.

The 2022 Newmarket attracted a quality field to Newcastle for the Newcastle Jockey Clubs major race in the first half of the year.

The track was heavy after 133 millimetres of rain in the days leading up to the race day and jockeys praised the condition of the track under the circumstances. Lees lone representative was the talented mare Wandabaa, nicely weighted with 54 kilograms to carry and Jason Collett aboard.

The mare displayed her liking for the home track with an eye catching second behind Lost And Running in the $1 Million The Hunter in November.  The speedy Ashman set a solid pace up front while Wandabaa which was slow away was well back with three behind her. Collett eased the mare to the outside to take her run at the 300 metres and she unwound. She had a titanic battle with Nimalee in the final 100 metre and Wandabaa got there by the barest margin.

Through The Cracks was a fast finishing third after being last 300 metres out. Australian Bloodstock purchased Wandabaa for $36,000 at an Inglis Classic Sale and her prizemoney now stands at $827,565. She is a valuable breeding proposition. Lees has now trained the last four Newcastle Newmarket’s winners with Gem Song (2021), Special Reward (2020) Princess Posh (2019) and Wandabaa.

Lees father Max won the three Newcastle Newmarket’s. The winning trainer praised his major client Australian Bloodstock after the race “Australian Bloodstock have been great to me. To win four in a row for them is really rewarding and to win your feature races at home is always important.

She has been multiple stakes placed and deserved to win a stakes race. Wandabaa is a valuable mare and comes from a good family. She has a future ahead when she retires” Lees said.

Collett said he was confident with the track heavy. “I thought Wandabaa would relish the heavy track. I was on the back of the right horse. I needed to get to the outer” Collett said.