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  • Provincial Racing NSW


EARLY Carlton Wyong Gold Cup favorite Hosier will also be a Royal Randwick weekend acceptor before Newcastle trainer Mark Minervini makes a decision on which race he will target. market assessors this afternoon posted Hosier at the head of betting at $5 for Friday’s $240,000 Listed Wyong Cup (2100m), for which he has been given 57.5kg.

Entries for Saturday’s $200,000 Listed City Tattersall’s Club Cup (2400m), which currently stand at 14, have been extended until 11 am tomorrow, and thus weights are yet to be released.

“I will accept for both races on Wednesday morning and have a close look at the fields before deciding which way we head,” Minervini said this afternoon. “Jason Collett will ride Hosier wherever he runs.” Collett was aboard the former Irish gelding when he easily won the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2000m) at Randwick on August 19, relishing the soft conditions.

And Minervini is certain Hosier hasn’t gone backwards since. “He has done really well,” he said. “I watched him picking grass this afternoon for 30 minutes, and never lifted his head.

“He is a very happy horse.”

Whilst Hosier heads the Wyong Cup betting, he is on the fourth line of betting at $8 for City Tatts Cup. Minervini says the ease in which Hosier won the Premier’s Cup may sway him into going back to Randwick at the weekend. “We know he is very comfortable racing at Randwick, and that may suit him better, especially if forecast rain during the week arrives.

“On the other hand, we’re not sure yet if he will manage the 2400m, so there’s plenty of thinking to be done.”

Wyong Race Club general manager Greg Purcell is delighted with both the quality and number of entries for the Cup and $200,000 Listed Mona Lisa Stakes (1350m) for fillies and mares. Twenty-seven horses were entered for the Cup, including last year’s Melbourne Cup placegetter High Emocean from the Ciaron Maher/David Eustace stable, and 19, including recent Melbourne winners Anahita (Matt Laurie) and Beour Bay (Shane Nichols), for the Mona Lisa. The Cup entries include seven from provincial stables. As well as Hosier, Newcastle’s Kris Lees and Paul Perry have Kalapour ($6 co-second favorite) and Olympic Gaze ($51) respectively, Wyong’s Sara Ryan has The Mediterannean ($15) and Parry Sound ($101), fellow Wyong trainer Brett Partelle has Commander Bell ($101), and Kembla Grange’s Brett Lazzarini has Wild Chap ($51).

Lees won the 2016 Wyong Cup with $18 chance Slow Pace (Robert Thompson) on a ‘Heavy 10’ surface. Sydney’s all-conquering Chris Waller, who has eight Wyong Cups on his mantelpiece, has seven entries as he chases a ninth success. His nominations include recent Hawkesbury Rowley Mile winner Bold Mac, who has now won three races on the bounce.

Waller won last year’s Wyong Cup with Durston, who went on to also take the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) and Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Seven of the Wyong Cup entries also have been nominated for City Tatts Cup. Waller’s highly talented mare Olentia, beaten only once in six starts, is a dominant $2.25 favorite for the Mona Lisa, to be run at set weights plus penalties. There are three provincial nominations; leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup has Short Shorts, and Wyong trainers Tracey Bartley and Damien Lane have Sebrenco and Zorocat respectively.

HOOFNOTE: Provincial trainers Barry Lawrence and John Bannister (Newcastle) and Wyong’s Damien Lane were winners at today’s Kempsey TAB meeting, along with apprentices Locky Scorse and Anna Roper. Lawrence hit the jackpot in the Maiden Plate (1450m) with Take The Jackpot, a horse he paid only $700 for online in May last year as an unraced three-year-old, and Bannister scored with Lucifer’s Reward in the Benchmark 66 Handicap (1000m).

Lucifer’s Reward was having his first start for his new trainer, and winning rider Locky Scorse claimed his fifth career victory, meaning his 4kg claim now becomes 3kg. “I’ve lost my 4kg claim, but I’ll keep learning and keep improving,” Scorse said afterwards.

Lane claimed his third winner of the new season and his apprentice Anna Roper, who has only recently resumed riding after a lengthy time on the sidelines through injury, her fourth when He’s Purring took the Class 1 Handicap (1000m).

Article by John Curtis, 28th August 2023. Photo: Wyong trainer Sara Ryan with this year’s Wyong Gold Cup. Photo courtesy Wyong Race Club

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