The local Kris Lees-trained French import Singing has opened favourite of the Newcastle Cup 2016 field of final acceptors to take out his home town cup this Friday at Beaumont Racecourse.
Heading the Newcastle racing action as Race 7 at 4:40pm (AEST), this season’s $175,000 Group 3 XXXX Gold Newcastle Cup (2200m) has attracted a full field of 14 starters plus the Craig Roberts-trained emergency Kinsman (8).
Sitting top of the early Newcastle Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4 for the win is Singing, drawn in barrier three with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride on the in-form stallion.
Seven-year-old Singing has had just the two runs down under in Sydney for Lees for two seconds, the latest on August 27 at Rosehill in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1900m).
He gets out over more distance this week and should eat up the metres boasting winning form back in Europe up to a mile and a half.
McEvoy rode Singing last time out on 56kg, the duo reuniting on Friday with just a half-kilo more.
Lees has a total of four final acceptors in this spring’s Newcastle Gold Cup field including the Premier’s Cup winner Sense Of Occasion.
The six-year-old Street Sense gelding held on narrowly to beat home his stablemate in that run carrying 54kg and goes up to 55.5kg for the rematch with Tim Clark retaining the ride.
Sense Of Occasion has a wider barrier 14 draw in the Newcastle Cup but plenty of distance to overcome the alley and is the equal $6 second favourite along with Sacred Master.
Lees other two chances are last start Wyong Cup winner in the wet Slow Pace ($11) in gate two with Robert Thompson aboard and Olympic Academy ($21) to be ridden by star Sydney hoop Tommy Berry on the back of a dead last (10th) in the same lead-up run from September 2.
Sacred Master meanwhile jumps from gate seven with Hugh Bowman aboard for Chris Waller, the Mastercraftsman gelding from New Zealand shooting for his first win since taking out February’s Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) across the Tasman.
He was last seen improving on a Premier’s Cup Prelude eighth when runner-up to Slow Pace in the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m) carrying 56.5kg, the same kilos he has for his first Newcastle run on Friday.
Waller also saddles-up the 59kg Newcastle Cup top weight Junoob ($10) from gate 10 with Brenton Avdulla replacing Bowman aboard the nine-year-old Haafhd gelding.
Two back Avdulla guided Junoob to a brave third behind the fellow Waller-trained McCreery in the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) on 62kg before the veteran ran fifth to the same horse last Saturday at Rosehill in the Group 3 Kingston Town Classic (2000m).
Also at single-figures paying $9.50 for the win is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Dee I Cee out wide in barrier 13 with Johan Victoire booked to ride the galloper second-up after a second to Signposted over the Randwick mile on September 3.
Check out the official Newcastle Gold Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below along with the current Fixed Win prices provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).