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  • Provincial Racing NSW


LOCAL hope Hosier will have a sizeable interstate cheer squad for Friday’s $300,000 Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m).

And the gelding’s trainer Mark Minervini says he can’t wait for the race and will be staggered if he isn’t very competitive.

In a Newcastle dominated market, Hosier (Jason Collett) this evening was a $5 third favorite with behind the Kris Lees pair Cleveland ($3.90) and Kalapour ($4.60).

“We’ve got 12 owners coming from South Australia and a couple of guys from Melbourne who I have trained for previously, and that number will be even bigger now that Hosier is definitely running,” Minervini said this afternoon.

“They all came into Hosier when I purchased him online (for $100,000) in late May, and booked for lunch in Chevals Restaurant on course some time back.

“It’s our hometown Cup, and I can’t wait for the race.

“Hosier is in great order. Going on the way he looks and has been working, I’ll be staggered if he doesn’t prove hard to beat.”

Minervini and his wife Michelle relocated from South Australia four years ago, and is excited at the opportunity to add his name to the 100-year plus Gold Cup honour roll.

“We won a Group 3 with Hosier in the Premier’s Cup at Randwick last month, but it would be an even bigger thrill to win the Newcastle Cup,” he said.

Minervini says he purchased Hosier, a 2000m winner at Flemington two years ago, with a view to racing him at that distance and beyond, and the lightly-raced seven-year-old’s performance on Friday will determine further spring plans.

“I have nominated him for The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick, and Caulfield (2400m) and Melbourne Cups (3200m).” he said.

“If he runs Top 3 on Friday, he will have passed a qualifying clause for the Melbourne Cup.

“Everything is on the table, but if he continues to hold his form, we might put him on a float and head to Melbourne as spring is often wet.”

Minervini has given up on rain for accomplished wet tracker Hosier for Friday’s assignment, but is confident Newcastle Jockey Club will have put sufficient irrigation on the course proper to provide a fair surface for the feature meeting.

Hosier was travelling like a winner when the drama unfolded in the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m) on September 1 as a result of New Mediterranean’s breakdown, and his trainer, thankful the gelding escaped unscathed, has put that behind him.

“Hosier didn’t have a hard run as he went only 1400m when Jason (Collett) eased him out of the race,” he said.

“And he comes down 1kg to 56.5kg on Friday.”

A capacity field of 16 and four emergences was declared for the Cup this morning, but topweight Navaho Peak and King Frankel have already been withdrawn to instead contest Saturday’s Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.

This gives Wyong trainer Sara Ryan’s first emergency Parry Sound and Navaho Peak’s stablemate, second emergency Raging Bull, berths in the Cup line-up.

Annabel Neasham pair Fancy Man and Gear Up have been withdrawn from the Kingston Town to tackle the Newcastle Cup, but another stablemate Bois D’Argent, who ran third to Hosier in the Premier’s Cup on August 19 and was runner-up to Benaud in the Wyong Cup, remains in both races.

Former Irish stayer Gear Up will race in blinkers, whilst co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have gone the opposite way, removing that gear from Premier’s Cup runner-up Military Mission.

Six of the acceptors – five from the Chris Waller stable and Newcastle trainer Sam Kavanagh’s Aramayo - for Friday’s Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m), are also in Saturday’s Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick.

Dual venue acceptor Skyman is the current $5 Cameron favorite ahead of the Lees pair

Inver Park ($5.50) and Luncies ($6.50). Lees also has $8.50 chance Spangler, whom Tom Sherry will ride.

Lees has taken visors off Luncies, and instead will race last year’s Cameron runner-up in a nose roll.

Peter and Paul Snowden’s Wollombi (Sam Clipperton) is the $3.90 favorite for the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m), with Lees’ Razeta (Dylan Gibbons) a $6 second favorite.

. Last year’s Cameron winner Wild Chap ran third at $12 for Kembla Grange trainer Brett Lazzarini, to Australian Bloodstock-raced Ironclad in today’s Listed Balaklava Cup (1600m).

He will be transferred to South Australian trainer John Macmillan for the Listed Murray Bridge Gold Cup (1600m) on October 7.

*Story John Curtis, September 13, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos*

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