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  • Provincial Racing NSW


NEWCASTLE and Hunter Hall Of Famer Peter Snowden is no stranger to winning feature races at Newcastle – and is hoping to add another on Friday.

Snowden this afternoon confirmed UK import Unspoken as a certain starter in the $250,000 Group 3 Horsepower Newcastle Stakes (1400m), with Tom Sherry his rider.

Twenty-six horses have been nominated for Newcastle’s feature autumn sprint (16 can run), and prior to Wednesday morning acceptances, Unspoken was a $4.50 second favorite.

Amor Victorious, unbeaten at two Sydney starts this campaign, is a $4 favorite.

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ pair Loch Eagle and Rustic Steel are next in betting at $8.

Snowden was inducted into the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame in 2021.

He and his co-trainer son Paul put winkers on the gelding at the beginning of his last preparation, and he was unbeaten in four starts, culminating with the $2m Five Diamonds (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 11.

Sherry, who won the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on Hawkesbury-trained Phearson at Royal Randwick last Saturday, partnered Unspoken in the Five Diamonds and also in a Benchmark 88 Handicap (1600m) victory at that track on September 30.

“He really hit his straps last spring, and had a break after winning the Five Diamonds,” Snowden said.

“Hopefully, there is some bigger fish to fry down the track this autumn, but the Newcastle race is a good starting point.

“We always enjoy racing our horses at Newcastle.”

Unspoken goes into the Newcastle sprint on the back of one trial when runner-up to Zenzella in a 1207m Open heat at Warwick Farm on February 12.

Snowden won the Newcastle Stakes (previously Newmarket) with Falaise (Josh Parr, in 2008) and Bello (Jason Collett, in 2013), and then in conjunction with son Paul the 2016 event.

That year’s Stakes was transferred to Rosehill, and Team Snowden secured a quinella result, Artistry (Thomas Huet) defeating Nancy (Tommy Berry).

Unspoken is currently a $26 chance for the $4m Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 6, but the Newcastle winner does not secure automatic exemption from ballot for one of the highlights on Day 1 of The Championships.

Unspoken has 58.5kg in the Stakes, only 0.5kg less than joint topweights Berkshire Shadow and Zeyrek.

However, the Australian Bloodstock-raced Berkshire Shadow is expected to make his Australian debut at Flemington on Saturday in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap (1400m), where he also has 59kg.

A Group 1 placegetter in England last April, the five-year-old has won four of his 15 starts to date.

Kembla Grange trainer Anthony Mountney was the sole provincial winner at his home track meeting today.

Mountney landed the Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1000m) with Layin’ Four (Peter Wells).

A $3.40 chance, she defeated Hawkesbury pair, Terry Croft’s Royal Bombardier ($7.50) and Marc Chevalier’s Black Alexandra ($31).

A four-year-old daughter of Holler, Layin’ Four has now won twice on end, having been successful in a Midway Maiden Handicap (1100m) at Hawkesbury on February 13.

Story John Curtis, March 5, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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