Sydney Specials – Newcastle: Saturday, 12th November 2022

We head bush for the next couple of weeks in New South Wales with Newcastle and ‘The Hunter’ this week ahead of Kembla and ‘The Gong’ next week. Top stuff.

Good to land a 10-1 winner last week with Short Shorts looking more like a 1-10 chance controlling things beautifully out in front and winning by 3.5 lengths. Interestingly, she got such a picnic last week they've decided to back her up and run again in Race 3, unfortunately as a fairly warm favourite this time around.

No doubt a few local trainers will have their horses set to peak on a big day in Newcastle, none more so than Kris Lees. A handy racing database I know of shows that his career ROI across Australia is 0.77 and, at tracks he's had 25+ runners only Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, and of course Newcastle hold up that average.

Our Candidate in Race 4 looks a decent chance of bettering that average again despite his quote of 12-1, with the quick backup by Lees looking a set play after working home well under 128lbs last week at Rosehill.

He now drops to 112lbs with Dylan Gibbons keeping the ride and is in flying form this time running consistent figures in the 90s and dipping into the 100s when winning the Cessnock Cup two back.

You'd love to see him roll forward and try to slot in ahead of a couple of rivals, but in the small field and with Fun Fact rolling in front, he should get his chance. I think you could mark him single figures with King Frankel looking a bit skinny at the head of the market.

The other bet I'm keenest to have again comes up in the last on the card with Notions, and like last week, the speed map is the main reason. She looks the natural leader on paper with little pressure, so I'm not fussed about the wide draw at all, and we get Tim Clark to steer.

She returned with a great platform run, boxing on for third behind the progressive Waterford and posting a narrow new peak of 92 with Timeform. The key with her is she's unbeaten second up and on average has improved her rating by nearly 15 pounds in three second up starts.

The early favourite is Adjourn, an import first up for Lees and Jmac, so it's easy to see why the market likes him. He does have a decent bulk of ratings that would make him favourite but I can't see a potentially slowly run mile, likely from back in the field suiting a horse better over 10 furlongs.

Notions should bounce to the front and at up to $6.50 being bet, I think she's the best of the day.


Bet of the day: Race 10 #8 Notions @ $6.5

Each-way play: Race 4 #5 Our Candidate @ $13/3.1

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