Champion Randwick trainer Peter Snowden and his son Paul have only one starter on the Newcastle Beaumont track on Saturday and The Everest-winning trainers are confident of success.
Four-year-old mare Varuska, raced by the Kolivos family of Pierro fame, is in the opening event, the 2000-metre Class 1 and Maiden Plate.
The mare is a strong stayer and has a win and a second in her only two starts over the 2000m trip.
Third up from a spell she came from well back when a closing second over the distance at Kembla on January 3.
“This mare is a strong stayer and she is in a winnable race,” Peter Snowden said.
“Varuska was held up in the race at Kembla and she hit the line nicely.
“Josh Adams will ride her and she should have a soft run from the rails barrier. Varuska hasn’t put a foot wrong since the Kembla run.”
Another Sydney trainer, Mark Newnham, will send two horses up the M1 on Saturday.
Mare Jingles will contest the 1350m Class 1 Handicap, while So Hard To Catch runs in the 1200m Benchmark 60 Handicap.
Newnham was bullish about the pair’s prospects.
“Jingles is a lightly raced mare which put the writing on the wall second up at Wyong two weeks ago,” Newnham said. “She got a long way back at Wyong and made up a lot of ground to finish third. The mare will race much closer on Saturday and she has done well since her last run.
“So Hard To Catch needed the run first up and she is a lot fitter this time. She is a winner on the Beaumont track and the mare races well second up.
“So Hard To Catch was originally asked to carry 61 kilograms so I have put my apprentice, Robbie Dolan, on her and he will claim three kilograms. Both my horses will be hard to beat.”
Sydney’s champion trainer, Chris Waller, will send nine of his team to Newcastle and three – Auerbach, Impasse and Tavisfaction – are favourites for their respective events.
Auerbach is a last-start Wyong winner and runs in the 1350m Class 1 Handicap. He races on the speed and the shorter trip is ideal.
Impasse is on debut in the 1350m Maiden Plate after an easy Rosehill trial win on January 8.
New Zealand-bred filly Tavisfaction is an interesting runner in the final event, the 1350m fillies and mares Maiden Plate.
The three-year-old was beaten by big margins in her first two starts in late August-early September.
After a short spell Tavisfaction has had two barrier trials and in her most recent at Warwick Farm she bolted in by more than nine lengths. Tavisfaction will race in blinkers for the first time.
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