A promising Godolphin filly is set to turn back a wave of challenges from the top metropolitan stable in Tuesday’s feature BM 64 Handicap at Newcastle.
Waka, a three-year-old daughter of Domesday from an Encosta de Lago mare, progressed quickly to Listed grade in Victoria in her first prep last spring. She steps to the mile second-up (Race 6) after resuming with a somewhat disappointing run at Hawkesbury. But that was on an unsuitable heavy 9 where she drew the inferior inside, and from a wider gate and on much firmer ground here, Waka is well placed to win her second race.
But she’ll have to resist a multi-prong attack from leading trainer Chris Waller, who has accepted with four runners, including four-year-old mare and early favourite Frascati Miss, who thundered home in a BM 70 at Canterbury last start; four-year-old McMahon, who was bred by Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan; and improving three-year-old Flying Pierro, who has also been finishing hard in deeper races, but has to carry 60kg. Yet having accepted for Warwick Farm, they may keep their powder dry for tomorrow.
Earlier, the only two-year-old in a Maiden Plate (Race 3) at set weights over 1300m looks set to get Godolphin out of the blocks on the seven-race card.
Shielded, a colt by Helmet out of a Lonhro mare, has continued to improve in only his first prep, chasing home stablemate Chantaresse this track last start who hasn’t missed a place in all six runs this prep. Shielded looks the one to beat, with winkers on for the first time. The main threat should come from resuming three-year-old and US-bred Warwick Farm gelding Proud Tradition, who has had two forward trials for in-form trainer Mark Newnham.