Tony McEvoy’s last start Rowley Mile winner Mr Chard gets another shot at a provincial spring black-type win this Wednesday when he backs up in the Cameron Handicap 2014 at Newcastle Racecourse.
One of two Group races on the card for the opening meeting of the two day Newcastle Cup Carnival, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Strathayr Cameron Handicap (1500m) field features nine gallopers.
Sure-to-be favourite in the Ladbrokes.com.au markets is Al Samer seven-year-old Mr Chard who is drawn in barrier six with Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
McEvoy also has the mount on another top fancy, the John O’Shea-trained Sweynesse in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) on the Newcastle card on Wednesday.
Goldophin’s head hoop was aboard McEvoy’s Mr Chard last time out and the pair put in a stellar effort at Hawkesbury on August 21 to win the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m).
Before that Mr Chard also caught the eye at Flemington when runner-up behind Group 1 winner Tiger Tees beaten just a neck in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m).
Last time out in the Rowley Mile however the veteran got in with just 54kg but will go up to 55.5kg on Wednesday.
The Cameron Handicap weights meanwhile are led by the Kris Lees-trained Slow Pace with 59kg.
Hugh Bowman rides the imported gelding who has Group 3 form at the track.
In his Australian debut Slow Pace was third to Mecir in the Newcastle Newmarket Handicap over 1400m here in March.
His other better run was a third to Spillway over 2000m at Randwick in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) this April before failing when 10th in the Doomben Cup.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller meanwhile plays a strong hand in the Cameron Handicap this year with three acceptors.
He saddles up Vilanova (barrier two), Danchai (barrier two) and Rugged Cross (barrier five).
Group 3 winning Commands four-year-old Vilanova, third to Sonntag in the Group 1 Queensland Derby back in June, resumed at the start of the month with a sixth to Lucia Valentina in the Group 2 Tramway Handicap (1400m) and will improve on firmer ground.
Danchai is also second-up here coming via the Tramway, the JRA Plate and Chairman’s Handicap runner-up from the autumn having finished eighth on the Heavy (9) track on September 6.
Rugged Cross meanwhile comes off a different lead-up to his stablemates.
The Cape Cross six-year-old having won over 1500m at Rosehill on August 30 defeating Tougher Than Ever in a Benchmark 95 to earn this step up in class with Tommy Berry staying on.
Also in the Cameron Handicap mix this year are the likes of the John Thompson-trained ATC Derby third placegetter Hooked and Spy Decoder for Anthony Cummings out to improve on a second at Randwick earlier this month in the wet.
Toydini meanwhile won the Cameron handicap last year second-up before going on to run third to Boban in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and win the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
To back your favourites for this important springboard race then head to Ladbrokes.com.au where you’ll always get the right price thanks to their Best Tote or Starting Price markets!
2014 Cameron Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw
Newcastle Race 7 (4:40pm) – 17/09/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4143x3030x||SLOW PACE (USA)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||9||59kg||102|
|2||x585534x47||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||3||55.5kg||95|
|3||0900x0x221||MR CHARD||Tony McEvoy||Kerrin McEvoy||6||55.5kg||95|
|4||71653413×6||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||4||55.5kg||95|
|5||70x38220x8||DANCHAI (GB)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||2||55kg||94|
|6||18×2166828||MIGHTY LUCKY||Fred Cowell||Nathan Thomas||7||54kg||91|
|7||3209147271||RUGGED CROSS (GB)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||5||54kg||91|
|8||45×0582242||BILLY AUCASH||Brian Smith||–||1||54kg||81|
|9||21144×52||SPY DECODER (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||James McDonald||8||54kg||73|