News Sports

Thompson chasing another $1 million payday

Trainer John Thompson is chasing the $1 million provincial race double with the much improved Purple Sector in The Gong (1500m) at Kembla Grange.Purple Sector has won his last two starts impressively and will be challenging for race favouritism in The Gong against what is ­expected to be an outstanding line-up of ­sprinter-milers.Thompson, who prepared…

Trainer John Thompson is chasing the $1 million provincial race double with the much improved Purple Sector in The Gong (1500m) at Kembla Grange.

Purple Sector has won his last two starts impressively and will be challenging for race favouritism in The Gong against what is ­expected to be an outstanding line-up of ­sprinter-milers.

Thompson, who prepared Sweet Deal to win the $1 million The Hunter at Newcastle last Saturday, said Purple Sector had continued to thrive after winning the Spring Mile (1600m) at Randwick then the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m) at Flemington.

“Purple Sector has returned a better horse this spring since being gelded,’’ Thompson said.

“He pulled up well after his Flemington and he’s spent a few days on the water walker to freshen up for The Gong.’’

Thompson confirmed Rachel King would ride Purple Sector, while The Hunter winner Sweet Deal has gone for a spell.

“Sweet Deal isn’t backing up in The Gong, she is already out in the paddock and we will bring her back for the mares races in autumn.’’

Although The Hunter and The Gong are only in their second year, Thompson said both races were quickly establishing themselves as target races at the back end of the spring ­carnival.

“The Hunter is a fantastic concept for the region and it is going to be the main race in Newcastle in years to come, if it is not ­already,’’ Thompson said.

“I think the same applies to The Gong at Kembla Grange. It’s going to be a great race on Saturday.’’

BOWMAN RETURNS ON OLMEDO

Hall of Fame jockey Hugh Bowman returns to NSW racing for the first time since Epsom Day when he rides the Chris Waller-trained Olmedo in the $1 million The Gong.

Bowman has been in Melbourne since he won the Group 1 Flight Stakes on Montefilia at Randwick on October 3.

Due to suspensions and his extended Melbourne spring carnival stay, Bowman has only had 40 rides in Sydney this season for five winners.

Waller is likely to have three runners in The Gong when defending champ Mister Sea Wolf (James McDonald) and Reloaded (Glyn Schofield) join Olmedo at Kembla Grange.

Godolphin’s James Cummings is also likely to have three starters in The Gong with Cascadian, Best Of Days and possibly Asiago.

Other The Gong entries include Rock, Bottega, Dawn Passage, Positive Peace, ­Irithea, Think It Over and Super.

BERRY NICE FOR TOMMY

Tommy Berry’s brace at Newcastle has taken him to the top of the Sydney jockeys’ premiership rankings.

Berry took his tally of metropolitan wins this season to 34 with his wins on promisingThe Elanora in the Group 3 Spring Stakes and King’s Trust in the TAB Highway. Reigning premier rider James McDonald joined him at the summit with his win on Through The Cracks in the Newcastle closer.

At Kembla Grange next Saturday, Berry has been booked to ride the talented Rock in The Gong. The Team Hawkes-trained gelding won the Cameron Handicap earlier this spring and last start ran third (behind Yulong Prince and Cascadian) in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes at Flemington.

BLOOD TEST FOR GONG NEGATIVE

Alligator Blood will be a notable absentee from The Gong as he was found to have a back problem after his flop in the Golden Eagle.

Trainer David Van Dyke advised stewards that Alligator Blood requires surgery and will spell for at least four months.

CARIF WINS BUT EERIE COINCIDENCES

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Carif was among three winners for leading Melbourne jockey Jamie Kah when he produced a strong staying performance in the Sandown Cup.

Carif is a five-year-old entire by So You Think out of Norzita, both multiple Group 1 winners trained by the late, great Bart Cummings.

In an eerie set of coincidences, Norzita lost her life in a paddock accident on race morning and it would have been Cummings’s 93rd birthday on Saturday.

Also, Carif is raced by Duncan Ramage’s Think Big Stud and Kah wore those famous colours of black and white checks, yellow sleeves that were carried by so many of Cummings’s champions including dual Cox Plate winner So You Think.

QUEENSLAND VISIT IN PLAY

Spring Stakes winner The Elanora is likely to remain in training for the Group 3 $250,000 Grand Prix (2200m) at Eagle Farm next month.

John Singleton, owner-breeder of The Elanora, said the Chris Waller-trained three-year-old colt is showing staying potential with the Grand Prix a real possibility after his tough win over High Supremacy.

NEWCASTLE SNAPSHOT

WITH RON DUFFICY

RUN OF THE DAY

How can you go past the bonny mare Sweet Deal who notched her 10th win in the $1m Tab Hunter. She just relished getting back on a dry track, taking a sit and showed her explosive acceleration to win well.

FORGET THEY RAN

Reading the stewards report regarding Superium was like reading War And Peace and besides all his problems in the run he also pulled up a touch lame. If was just a horror story from start to finish.

THE BLACK BOOK

Mark Newnham’s import Spirit Ridge did enough first-up with his big weight to suggest he’s worth following this preparation. He still has a bit of room to move with his coat to furnish and more fitness to come.

RIDE OF THE DAY

Tommy Berry rode a winning double showing patience on both King’s Trust presenting him at the right time and also on The Elanora where he just watched the leaders going out too hard and gained a dream run through.

MORE RACING

About the author

cvxgBWcuFA

Leave a Comment