The $50,000 Sky Racing Spring Provincial Series Heat 4 was held at Newcastle on Sunday and local trainer Kris Lees had the numbers and collected the $22,000 first prize. Lees saddled up four of the eight runners, however Kim Waugh’s King Hewitt was the heavily backed $2.30 favourite.
Lees High Power was the $5 second elect with another Novocastrian, Plaisir solid in the market at $5.50.
The only mare in the race I Am Awesome led from the outset, but she was swamped by Chalmers, High Power, King Hewitt and Plaisir at the top of the straight.
High Power raced clear inside the 200m, however he had to withstand the challenge of the strong finishing Plaisir in the closing stages.
High Power won by a long head from Plaisir with King Hewitt more than two lengths away third.
All three placegetters qualify for the $150,000 Provincial Series Final at Kembla on December 1.
Lees said before the race that High Power and Chalmers were the pick of his quartet. The premier trainer said following the race that High Power will be even fitter for the final in two weeks’ time.
“He worked home okay first up, and I knew he would appreciate the extra 100 metres today. Corey Brown rode High Power very well and this horse will be fitter for the final. He is a High Chaparral four-year-old and 2000 metres may open some doors for him.
This horse has a good record on his home track and his part owner Walter Power has a number of horses in my stable,” Lees said.
High Power has won four of his ten starts and $100,000 in prizemoney.
Randwick trainer Mark Newnham sent two promising young horses to Newcastle on Sunday and the pair maintained the former jockeys good strike rate at Newcastle.
Three-year-old filly Scarlet Dream confirmed her staying potential with a devastating win in the 1880 metre Class 1 & Maiden Plate. In her third race start, Scarlet Dream was backed into $1.60 after an easy 1600 metre Kembla Maiden win in her previous start.
Sunday’s race was run at a fast tempo and Robbie Dolan allowed the filly to settle at the tail of the field.
She unwound a powerful finishing run to race away and win by 3½ lengths. The time of 1:54.81 is a track record, however there hasn’t been many races run over 1880 metres since the track opened.
The second of Newnham’s double was another filly Proven Class in a 1600 metre Maiden Handicap.
A $1.65 favourite after a close second at Hawkesbury last start, Proven Class shared the lead and she was strong to the line scoring by just over a length.
Local trainer Mick Dwyer was in the winner’s circle with Can I Rock in the 900 metre Maiden Handicap.
The filly was heavily backed from $4.80 into $3.10 and after sharing the lead she raced clear to win by two lengths.
The longest priced winner was the $21 chance Fratellino trained by David Atkins and ridden by Robert Thompson.