Irish apprentice Louise Day outrode her country claim and her boss Kris Lees prepared three winners at Saturday’s Newcastle race meeting. Newcastle’s premier trainer is overseas, however the stable continued to chalk up the winners with Sixties Groove successful in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup and Itz Lily saluting at Randwick.
The five winners took Lees season tally to an amazing 221 winners. The successful trio at Newcastle are destined for bigger and better things.
Gooree Park bred and raced youngsters Ruling Symbol and Mandirigma were dominate. The three-year-old Ruling Symbol overcame a wide run to win the 1200 metre Class 1 Handicap. He had bolted in with a Newcastle Maiden in his previous start.
Comeback jockey Aaron Bullock had the ride on the winner and it was his fifth winner since he returned to the saddle last month.
Two-year-old colt Mandirigma made a stunning debut in the 900 metre two-Year-old Maiden Plate. He went into the race after three trial wins and he was a massive tip on track. Darryl McLellan had ridden the colt in his last two trial wins however he is injured, and Mitchell Bell took the ride.
Mandirigma was slowly away but he quickly made ground and when Bell called on the horse in the home straight, he responded and won convincingly. Bell was full of praise for the winner following the race. “He is pretty good. That was a super effort. Originally, he was relaxed in the barrier but another horse played up and Mandirigma was slow out. I had to ride him aggressively as it was only a 900-metre race. He is raw but has a bright future. This horse will develop into a smart three-year-old,” Bell said.
The third of Lees treble was the Louise Day ridden Think Free in the final event the 1300 metre Newcastle Nobbys. Raced by Australian Bloodstock, the filly has won four of her eight starts and is ready to progress to midweek metropolitan racing.
It was the second leg of a double for Day as she piloted $151 chance Reliansive in the 1870 metre Maiden Handicap. That was her 80th winner and the young Irish lass will not be permitted to claim on Country tracks.
Day was rapt after the meeting. “I am stoked. I was very confident about Think Free’s prospects, but I didn’t know what to expect from Reliansive as his form was poor. He obviously likes a soft track and inside the 200 he started to lift and outstayed them.
Think Free is a little rocket. My instructions were to come out neutral and as there was a lot of speed in the race let her settle near the rear. When we got to the 300, I thought time was running out and nothing was taking me into the race. So I got her into the clear and she took off,” Day said.
Gooree Park finished the day with a treble when its promising three-year-old filly Aim For Perfection maintained her unbeaten record in the 1200 metre Class 1 Handicap.
Mark Newham trains the filly and Koby Jennings completed a double for the day. Jennings rode the first winner More Than A Horse for team Hawkes.