The Newcastle track stood tall again on Tuesday confirming its stature as one of the best wet weather tracks in the nation. After 70 millimetres of rain on the track on Monday and Tuesday morning the track was rated a soft 7 for the eight-race program. The top Sydney jockeys had nothing but praise for the surface.
The highlight of the meeting was the stunning debut win by the Kris Lees trained filly Frankley Awesome in the Newcastle Stevedores Maiden Plate (1300m). The three-year-old went into the race on the back of a stylish trial win on the Beaumont track on August 20. However Frankley Awesome was not that popular with punters drifting in the betting to $9.50 at barrier rise.
Dual Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown was aboard Frankley Awesome and when he got her to the outside in the straight, she exploded. Three lengths was the winning margin. Brown was very impressed.
“Kris said that she was a filly bred to get over the ground, so we were always going to be in the second half. Six hundred metres from home I was confident she would win. When I pushed the button, she lengthened really well and got to the leaders very quick. The filly really let down and she is pretty good.” Brown said.
A daughter of former England superstar Frankel, Frankley Awesome could develop into an Oaks filly. Lees and Brown completed a double in the final event when the ultra-consistent Jack’s Bar saluted in the Newcastle & Hunter Men Of League Benchmark 64 (1200m). Jack’s Bar, another drifter in betting ($3.20 to $5) was ridden more conservatively by Brown and he was too strong for the Ben Smith trained Tabrobone, scoring by half a length.
The winner has had nine starts for three wins and five placings. “He will keep improving as he is still a bit wayward and does a few things wrong. Hopefully we can get him to a city race soon.” Lees said.
Randwick trainer John Thompson also landed a double and both winners were impressive. The Japanese bred Wild Impact, a daughter of Japanese super sire Deep Impact, was on debut in the Albion Hotel Wickham Maiden (1600m). A staying bred mare Wild Impact raced away to win by 1 ½ lengths.
Thompsons’ Primivito ($1.40) was the shortest priced favourite on the day in the Cessnock Rugby League Old Boys Maiden Plate (1300m). A notorious slow starter, Primivito came from a long way back to win by three quarters of a length running away. The four-year-old was narrowly beaten in the listed Canberra Guineas in March and he had outstanding credentials for Tuesday’s race.
Ben Smith’s emerging stayer Iron Duke, once again put a big space on his rivals in the Tew Property Consultants Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2360m). In his previous start, the Queensland bred four-year-old won an 1885 metre Newcastle Maiden by 4 lengths. On Tuesday, Iron Duke stepped up in class and distance and he won by five lengths.
Coffs Harbour mare Ferniehirst returned to her best, with a gutsy all the way win in the McDonalds Singleton Benchmark 64 (1200m). Apprentice Cejay Graham rated the seven-year-old mare to perfection up front and when runner up Power Command joined the winner in the straight, Graham was not overaced by the presence of Corey Brown on her outside.