The Hunter 2020: Godolphin gang-tackling rich Newcastle race with five entries

Defending champ Savatiano heads five entries for Godolphin trainer James Cummings for the $1 million The Hunter (1300m) at Newcastle.

Savatiano and stablemates FlitGauloisRanier and Asiago are among 28 entries for Newcastle’s richest race. The final field is restricted to 15 starters.

There Hunter has attracted a quality entry with 12 horses boasting a handicap rating of 100 or higher. In other news:

#Savatiano, who won the Group 2 Hot Danish Stakes at Rosehill last Saturday, has been allocated topweight of 59kg, which is 3.5kg more than she carried to success in the inaugural The Hunter last year.

#Trainer Kris Lees has nominated six for the big race — last year’s runner-up Tactical Advantage plus Special Reward, Chief Ironside, El Dorado DreamingEvalina and Asharani.

#The Kim Waugh-trained Trumbull has been allocated 58kg and is early favourite on TAB Fixed Odds at $6 ahead of a trio of mares, Savatiano, Flit and Fiesta at $8.

#There are a bumper 189 entries across the nine races for the Newcastle stand-alone meeting.

Lees said Special Reward, Tactical Advantage and El Dorado Dreaming are certain starters while he hopes Evalina and Asharani make the final field.

Chief Ironside is prominent in early betting on The Hunter but Lees has in two minds about starting him this weekend as he also has the $1 million The Gong (1500m) at Kembla Grange on November 21 in his sights.

Newcastle Jockey Club chief executive Matt Benson said The Hunter Race Day would provide another welcome boost to the region.

“We can’t wait to host the second running of our million-dollar race, The Hunter, after a thrilling first edition in 2019 that saw a huge crowd turn out in support.” Benson said.

“This year has been a challenge for everyone, but there’s been a huge jump in online inquiries for all of our Spring events, so we’re really looking forward to a fun and safe day of elite racing at Newcastle racecourse.’’

#The Victorian Racing Tribunal has cut jockey Kerrin McEvoy’s fine for excessive whip use in the Melbourne Cup from $55,000 to $30,000 on appeal on Monday.

 by Ray Thomas

Image: Getty