Poor visibility forced the abandonment of the last three races at Newcastle on Saturday but not before former Riverina apprentice Stacey Metcalfe rode two of the four winners. The experienced apprentice who recently transferred from Wagga to Wyong trainer Allan Denham steered home winners for Newcastle trainers David Atkins and Paul Perry.
The young lady was aboard Atkins speedy two-year-old Reveal The Magic in the opening event the 900 metre Maiden Handicap. despite a betting drift Reveal The Magic ($4.80) was too quick for his rivals and after leading clearly after 100 metres he cruised home by 1.7 lengths.
Atkins was not at the meeting, but Metcalfe was ecstatic. “I rode my first Metropolitan winner on The Party Girl on June 10 and now my first Provincial winner. I only moved to Wyong to Allan Denham two weeks ago. I have never met David Atkins and I still haven’t, David’s instructions were conveyed to me by a stable rep. He wanted me to let Reveal The Magic run from the outset and the horse sure did. This horse showed exceptional gate speed to lead easily.
I gave him a breather between the 600 and 400 metres and he was strong to the line. He is a smart horse”. Metcalfe said. She was apprenticed to Wagga trainer Doug Vickers but he only had two horses in work. A steward suggested a move to Allan Denham for more opportunities. Metcalfe has ridden 70 winners in a four-year apprenticeship disrupted by a knee reconstruction and other injuries.
Later in the day Metcalfe completed her double when the Perry trained Condor was successful in the 1400 metre Class 2 Handicap. It was a good training effort from Perry as Condor had not raced in fourteen months. The four-year-old had very good form in early 2018 and his only win was at Canterbury. Metcalfe allowed Condor to stride to the lead 1100 metres out and he engaged in a two-horse war with Chris Waller’s Pembroke Castle from the home turn. Despite the long layoff Condor was able to hold off Pembroke Castle.
The ultra-consistent Elaborate turned in a stout staying performance to win the 2350 metre Benchmark 64 Handicap. The three-year old’s previous four runs resulted in a Kembla win and three placings. It was the promising stayers first attempt at the 2350 metres and he came through with flying colours. Given a gun run one out and one back by former South African jockey Keagan Latham, Elaborate dashed clear into the home straight but was seriously challenged by Latin Light half way down the straight. He shook off the challenger and raced clear to win convincingly.
The other winner on the showery day was the James Cummings trained filly Chanteresse. Placed in her previous five starts, the three-year-old was taken to the lead when the gates opened and was never headed.