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Race-by-race tips and preview for Newcastle on Saturday


7. Vadiyann resumes after 47 weeks on the sidelines having been so impressive on his Australian debut in December last year. That was off a 64-week break. The French import sat outside of a hot speed set by Fun Fact yet relished it. The six-year-old has had two trials this time back, winning the latest of those at Randwick by a widening 3.5 lengths. It was a hitout that suggested he’d at least repeat the performance we last saw from him, which would likely be enough to win this race too.
5. House Of Cartier finished third to Vadiyann near 12 months ago beaten 1.2L. Two starts prior to that, John Sargent’s five-year-old won this exact race. And she won it comprehensively.
How to play it: Vadiyann to win.


6. St Covet’s Spirit has only won one from 13 but she has placed twice at group 3 level. Both of those were on good tracks too. Take away her wet track runs and instead of 13:1-2-3, you get a record of 6:1-2-2. In one of those group 3 placings she split Dawn Passage and Icebath – that was the Hawkesbury Guineas where she started $11, and comfortably accounted for her stablemate 2. Mo’s Crown. First-up last preparation she ran fifth on a heavy track in the group 3 PJ Bell Stakes. Here she is in a BM72 this time back and the market has completely ignored her. 15. Anethole was the hidden run of The Kosciuszko. Despite beginning well, he had to be dragged back to last from the wide draw. He clocked the second quickest last 600m of the race, only bettered by winner It’s Me.
How to play it: St Covet’s Spirit and Anethole both to win.


1. Spirit Ridge has 61kg and a wide draw but there’s every chance he is simply better than his rivals here. He is the highest rated runner and has the scope to go forward again once he gets out in trip. The tricky gate would be offset with a positive ride as the likely leader 4. Ulusaba has drawn to his inside. The import made an immediate impression in Australia winning on the Kensington track beating Agassi and Itz Lily. The six-year-old has trialled four times, all over 1200m, which should give him a great base for the mile first-up. Something has suddenly twigged for five-year-old gelding 13. Super. The Mark Minervini-trained galloper has won his past two, both at Newcastle, by a combined margin of eight lengths.
How to play it: Spirit Ridge each-way.


9. Perfect Radiance was bottled up on the fence at Randwick last start and like the way she found the line when she saw daylight. The daughter of Snitzel is two from two on good tracks, with her two defeats both on wet surfaces. Her win on debut at odds on against older horses earmarked her as a filly with black-type potential. Resumed this preparation with a dominant Newcastle victory beating two subsequent winners in Knight and Bluff ‘N’ Bluster while fourth and sixth since ran the quinella at Wyong. She’s well found at the top of the early market but deservedly so. She’s pretty smart and it’s all still ahead of her. 2. Ellsberg was left flat-footed when the sprint went on in a very slowly run race at Rosehill last start. Like the way he rallied again late to run second behind Enchanted Heart.
How to play it: Perfect Radiance to win.

RACE 7 — 4.45PM: THE TAB HUNTER (1300m)

6. Sweet Deal signalled that she was in for a huge spring with a first-up win over 1100m in the group 3 Toy Show back in August but nothing has fallen into place since. The six-year-old is coming to the end of a busy preparation, which is the knock, but otherwise there are no excuses for her in this. She’s drawn perfectly, gets a bone dry track and Nash Rawiller stays aboard. The last time she raced here she won the group 3 Tibbie. I’d suggest that the 1300m is just about the perfect trip for the daughter of Casino Prince too (4:2-2-0). The Kosciuszko runner-up 9. Redouble gave It’s Me 5.5kg and was only collared late. 1. Trumbull resumed with a dominant win in the Sydney Stakes despite travelling deep throughout. Might have to do similar here given the draw.
How to play it: Sweet Deal each-way.


RACE 8 — 5.25PM: BASS FLOOR F&M BM 78 HANDICAP (1400m)

7. Strawb is better than a benchmark-level mare. Especially now, touch wood, that she is jumping cleanly from the barriers. She has won three of five for Nathan Doyle, and all in spectacular fashion. Her turn of foot is that of a group-class galloper. Forget she ever ran on the Kensington track back in July. It was a meeting where you needed to be nailed to the fence to be any hope. Add into the mix that it was a heavy track and she looked to have come to the end of her preparation. The ominous sign for her rivals is that she has trialled better than ever. 6. Luna Mia has been a little hard to catch after winning three of her first five starts but she broke the track record at Scone in the one win since then. She has the talent.
How to play it: Strawb to win.


Can’t resist having another crack at 1. Inanup given his ludicrous price. Did expect a touch more from the consistent seven-year-old at Randwick last start having presented to win at the top of the straight but, with 59.5kg after a seven-week break, he peaked on his run. Fair enough. 9. Through The Cracks was first-up himself there and did brush straight past Inanup late but there was little between their SPs on that occasion. Does a length between them there warrant Inanup starting $20 now and Through The Cracks $4? No way. Have got plenty of respect for Through The Cracks on the strength of his return. He can only improve off that.
How to play it: Inanup each-way.

Tips supplied by Racing NSW
Full form and race replays available at

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