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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: April 13, 2023: STABLEMATES Razeta and Spangler, impressive winners on Day 2 of The Championships, are heading for Hawkesbury’s stand-alone meeting.

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees has confirmed plans for the pair to contest races on Saturday week; Razeta in the $200,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) and Spangler in a Benchmark 88 Handicap (1500m).

Razeta added another Listed race to her record when she won the South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Royal Randwick last Saturday, whilst Spangler trounced his rivals in the $500,000 Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championship Final (1400m), giving his trainer his fifth win in the race.

“Both horses have done well since their wins, and I’m looking forward to starting them at Hawkesbury’s big meeting,” Lees said today.

Under the set weights conditions of the Guineas, Razeta will carry 54kg; only 0.5kg more than she carried in her authoritative Randwick victory.

It was her second stakes success, having won the Listed Desirable Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last spring.

Lees was represented in last year’s Guineas by Loch Eagle, who finished fourth to Mr Mozart after being runner-up in the South Pacific at his previous start.

Spangler ran well below his best when down the track in Phearson’s Hawkesbury Provincial-Midway Qualifier (1400m) on March 4 before turning that form around and finishing fifth in Short Shorts’ record-breaking Kembla Grange Qualifier a fortnight later, and then clinching a Final start by chasing home stablemate Loch Eagle in the ‘last chance’ Newcastle Wildcard (1400m) on March 30.

. Hawkesbury trainer Tommy Wong was the sole local winner at his home track meeting today, but had to face a stewards’ inquiry after lightly-raced six-year-old Damascap broke through at his fourth start, in the Pinnacle Office Supplies Maiden Handicap (1600m).

As much as $151 fixed odds was bet about Damascap, whose official SP was $41. He had started at $101 at each of his first three starts when 11th, 11th and 5th respectively at Kembla Grange, Goulburn and Hawkesbury in shorter races.

Ridden by Keagan Latham, Damascap raced close to the lead and outgamed $3.50 favorite Octahedron, who had made the running.

When questioned by RacingNSW stewards, Wong said his horse had raced wide and without cover at his previous start when fifth to Vancouver’s Gem in a 1500m Midway Maiden Plate at Hawkesbury on April 1.

He added that from the inside barrier today, Damascap was able to settle in a more prominent position and as a result was able to finish the race off.

Further, Wong said that whilst he didn’t expect the gelding to win, he was anticipating an improved performance due to his favorable draw.

A $5000 yearling buy, Damascap is a son of Onemorenomore, who won the 2009 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Godolphin’s James Cummings went a long way toward sealing the trainers’ premiership with another double today as his talented apprentice Zac Lloyd became the new leader in the jockeys’ title.

Cummings scored with favorites Black Iris ($2.45) in the Cornucopia F&M Maiden Handicap (1100m) and Shipshape ($1.50) in the Bendigo Bank Maiden Plate (1400m) – and Lloyd rode the pair.

Cummings has trained 18 winners for the season, seven clear of closest rival Chris Waller, and Lloyd moved to nine wins for the season, edging one win past a previous Hawkesbury premiership winner Rachel King.

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