Newcastle punters witnessed the emergence of the next potential star of Australian harness racing when three-year-old Balraj smashed the track record in likely the biggest winning margin seen at the venue.
Balraj, for trainer Anthony Simiana and driver Robert Morris, clocked a 1:50:9 mile on Monday in winning by 55.9 metres.
The run, which included a 26.4-second third quarter, was 0.5 seconds faster than the previous record set by Majordan in winning the 2018 Newcastle Mile.
The Art Major gelding was having just his third run in Australia after coming from New Zealand. He flagged his record-breaking potential with a 1:52:7 winning time and 25.7m margin at Newcastle a month earlier.
Newcastle Harness Racing Club secretary-manager Wayne Smith believed Monday's winning margin was the biggest seen at the track, beating the effort of the Shane Tritton-trained Arms Of An Angel (32.4m) in 2015.
Simiana won a Supreme Court case against Harness Racing NSW in January this year to regain his licence. He was banned for 16 years in 2017 over five out-of-competition samples which contained peptide VNFYAWK. He appealed and his licence application rejected. The case remains under appeal.