Classy Dundeel mare Mirror Queen could push on to Friday’s $200,000 Listed Carlton Wyong Gold Cup after taking out yesterday’s prelude.
The race was the feature of an eight-race program on Ladies Day, the first day of the 2022 Cup Carnival.
The large crowd was rewarded with a super day of racing which saw Mark Newnham train a double and young guns Tom Sherry and Reece Jones share the riding honours.
The victories to Jones and Sherry saw them take the lead in the Nathan Berry Shield with six points each, followed by Josh Parr and Jean Van Overmeire on five.
The track received plenty of praise, with an upgrade to a good four half-way through the program.
Michael Freedman could have a future champ on his hands after Hawaii Five Oh’s impressive debut, while Tracey Bartley had a win for the locals with Lady Superspy.
But it was Paul Messara’s progressive four-year-old Mirror Queen who continued her winning run in the feature, the 2100m ROBSON CIVIL PROJECTS WYONG CUP PRELUDE – BENCHMARK 68.
The Dundeel four-year-old is amassing a super record, with four wins and a placing from just seven starts, and he believes she has earned a shot at the Wyong’s Cup feature, with the Prelude win giving her automatic entry.
“We will make that assessment in the next couple of days when we see how she comes through the run,” he said.
“She’s not an overly robust mare, so I’ll see how she pulls up. I haven’t had a runner in the Wyong Cup before and she would certainly have no trouble with the distance going on this win.”
It was Mirror Queen’s first trip over the 2100m and despite some concerns from the stable she had no problem stepping up over extra ground.
Winning jockey Josh Parr said there is plenty of improvement to come for Mirror Queen.
“She was strong to the line. She’s still a raw filly with a lot of improvement to come. She’ll develop into a nice style of racehorse when she develops a bit more of a killer instinct.”
In an open race, Mirror Queen was sent out $3.50 favourite, coming off a third in the Highway at Randwick over 1800m on August 6.
The runner-up, Les Bridges’ Legend Has It ($6) flashed home for second after missing the start by two lengths, with Kristen Buchanan’s Oakfield Pinto ($9.50), running a nice race in third.
The $4 equal favourite Sanstoc got the better of his rivals on the line in his first trip over the mile to bring up his second win at start five.
Newnham said he believed the addition of blinkers made a difference.
“She travelled a lot sweeter during the run. She travelled in a good spot, Tom gave her a good ride and she finished off strongly.”
Stablemate Diamond Flare ($2.25fav) and Sherry completed the winning double with an impressive three length win in the 1100m GURNEY FINANCIAL SERVICES 4YO&UP MAIDEN.
Newnham described the $400,000 Magic Millions yearling, as a work in progress.
“It hasn’t been an easy task to get him here, but I was certainly relieved to see him go in the barriers. He’s certainly got the talent.”
“You only have to look at his trials to know he’s not short on talent, but he’s been very stubborn around the barriers. Hopefully we are through the worst of that now and the horse can realise his potential.”
A Deep Field four-year-old, Diamond Flare broke through at his third career start.
Rachel King escaped injury after the second favourite Bringonthebubbles ($3.60) bucked at the start.
It was a relieved Michael Freedman after his well-bred colt Hawaii Five Oh scored through a debut wing in the 1200m THE AGENCY 3YO MAIDEN.
There was plenty of hype around Hawaii Five Oh, a full brother to Libertini, who had been impressive in his two barrier trials this preparation and was sent out $1.50 favourite.
Despite wobbling around the turn the win looked never in doubt, and Freedman believes he will take plenty of improvement from the run.
“He’s a pretty raw horse. He wobbled around the corner, and I think he’ll appreciate a bigger track,” he said.
“He’ll derive plenty of benefit out of the win. It’s hard to take on the more experienced horses and I’ve always felt he will eventually get up over a mile.”
Winning rider Nash Rawiller said he felt Hawaii Five Oh, raced by
Gerry Harvey and John Singleton, could be “something pretty good.”
Tracey Bartley’s Lady Superspy ($11) upset some of the more favoured runners to win the 1600m DREW CHIVAS MEMORIAL CLASS 1.
“She’s been consistent all the way through,” Bartley said. “Reece had a ride on her the other day and got to know her and really rev up on her. He got the split and won her the race.
“We’ve been waiting to step her up to the mile. It was a good win and I’m very proud of her. “
Peter Snowden was equally impressed with his colt California Touch ($5.50), who took out the 1000m DEBBIE GAUNT FOUNDATION BENCHMARK 64.
Bringing up a double for Reece Jones, the three-year-old led from start to finish, after being a last start winner at Hawkesbury on August 22.
“He’s a nice handy horse going forward, and he will get over a bit further too,” Snowden said.
Apprentice Zac Lloyd was impressed by the tough win by Speed Song ($3.30eq fav) in a race honouring former Wyong trainer Johnnie Roberts.
The consistent Your Song gelding Speedy Song broke through at start 10 in the JOHNNIE ROBERTS MEMORIAL PROV & CTRY MAIDEN.
“It was a good effort today,” he said. “It was quite a tough run last start and he stuck on well for second that day. I was quite confident today.”
The Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou trained Mayhem ($3.50fav) was the other winner on the program, the Russian Revolution gelding too strong in the CARE 2 THE MAX BENCHMARK 64 over 1350m.
The three-year-old, ridden by Jean Van Overmeire, defied a late betting drift to win by almost a length.
The victory came after his win on at Goulburn over the same distance on August 8.
Apprentice Jackson Searle was cautioned by stewards regarded his ride on the Kim Waugh trained White Boots, who found he had erred not shifting his mount to the outside of Zaidin near the 400m and didn’t riding his mount out to the line.
No action was taken, with stewards mindful of his ‘inexperience as an apprentice.’