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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


FRIDAY: April 5, 2024: NEWCASTLE will now host Saturday’s scheduled Hawkesbury race meeting.

As well, Friday’s washed out Muswellbrook Gold Cup (1500m) has been added to make a nine-race program.

The “Big Dance Eligibility” Muswellbrook Cup, which carries a purse of $150,000, will be the sixth race at 3.40pm.

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, who won the race with Itz Lily in 2021, has Acquitted and Kinloch, both of whom are heavy track winners.

Last year’s winner Commando Hunt, trained by Cameron Crockett at Scone, resumes in an attempt to clinch back to back victories.

Jeff Penza rode Commando Hunt last year, and has the mount again.

With the addition of the Muswellbrook Cup, racing now begins at 12.45pm and concludes at 5.40pm.

Hawkesbury apprentice Zac Wadick has picked up the Cup ride on another good wet tracker Heza Gentleman, trained by Mitch and Desiree Kearney.

Wadick, enjoying a benchmark season with 51 winners so far (lifting his career tally to 104), has seven bookings including Noir Vitesse and Cool and Calm for his master Brad Widdup, Torie’s Reve and The Crimson Idol for fellow Hawkesbury trainers Edward Cummings and Marc Chevalier respectively, Je Reve for Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou, and Soobooco for Newcastle’s Mark Minervini.

However, Chevalier has announced that The Crimson Idol will stay at home as he prefers racing her on his home track, where she is in such good form.

. The rail is in the TRUE position, and a “Heavy 8” rating was posted at 11am on Friday, with rain continuing to fall.

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