Newcastle Review 04.05.19

Former Hong Kong galloper He’s Elusive landed a long-priced plunge when he resumed from a two-year spell to narrowly win the 1200 metre Maiden Plate at the Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday. Bookmakers offered as much as $81 about the six-year-old prospects and he was backed into $31 at barrier rise.

First out of the barrier, He’s Elusive led to well in the straight where he was headed by the heavily backed $2.25 favourite Cry Of Achilles. Under hard riding by Kacie Adams, He’s Elusive fought back to win by a long head.

The winners only previous start was at Sha Tin in Hong Kong in April 2017 when he finished last of fourteen beaten twelve and a half lengths. He was subsequently retired to New Zealand and He’s Elusive was running around in a paddock when bloodstock agent Drew Watson called Steinmetz and asked him to give the horse a try late last year.

“I have had him since mid-December and it has taken a long time to get him to the track.

He’s Elusive is a nervous horse and he came to me with feet problems.

Kacie Adams has done a lot of work with the horse and he has been difficult to train. I sent him around in a couple of open barrier trials in April and I was happy with his trials. I had a small each way bet on He’s Elusive at the big odds.

I will probably take him to the country next start. I have fond memories of Newcastle as I attended Newcastle University from 1973 to 1976. I was a Newcastle rugby union representative and played with the great John Hipwell.

I moved to Sydney and became a school teacher before thoroughbred training. I only have eight in work and I have had a lot of success at Newcastle.

I love the big spacious track and its great facilities”, Steinmetz said.

Kris Lees only winner on Saturday was at Newcastle where his regally bred filly Stella Sea Sun justified her long odds on quote with an effortless win in the five horse 1300 metre Benchmark 64 Handicap.

Scratching’s reduced the field to five and Stelle Sea Sun despite the impost of 60 ½ kilograms was the $1.45 favourite. Darryl McLellan settled the three-year-old off the speed and he let her cruise up to the leaders 300 meters out.

Stella Sea Sun quickly put the issue beyond doubt and she was eased down late to win by one and a half lengths. The daughter of the recently deceased champion Redoute’s Choice has an impeccable record of three wins and two seconds from five starts.

She is a half sister to Lees former smart sprinter Felines which won nine races and $500,000 in prizemoney. Newcastle’s premier trainer spoke to the Newcastle Herald while travelling home from the Randwick meeting Saturday night.

“This filly didn’t beat much today, and she had a big weight, and in the end, she won very easy. Stella Sea Sun deserves a shot at Metropolitan Class and she will head to town and probably mid-week.

Gerry Harvey bred and races this filly and I trained Felines for him and she won a Group 3.  When Winx won her first race at Warwick Farm I June 2014 Felines finished second.

Stella Sea Sun is much stronger than her half sister and will get over more ground”, Lees said.

The Novocastrian with 180 winners this season is set to become the first Newcastle and Provincial based trainer to prepare 200 winners in a season.