It’s the best field so far for the $1 million The Hunter at Newcastle Racecourse tomorrow.
The first Hunter was first run in 2019 as a part of The Everestcarnival, and since then has become a premier event on the spring carnival calendar.
The winner will sit alongside some top class sprinters from previous years in the 1300 metre race. In 2019 Godolphin mare Savatiano took out the race’s inaugural edition, from locally-trained pair Tactical Advantage (Kris Lees) and Bon Amis (Jason Deamer). In 2020 Randwick trainer John Thompson’s 6 year old mare Sweet Deal crossed the finish line first ridden by jockey Nash Rawiller.
There is a new addition to the day this year, The Hunter will be supported by a new race for stayers, the 2300 metre “The Beauford” with prizemoney of $300,000, along with the Group 3 New Zealand Bloodstock Spring Stakes for three-year olds over 1600 metres and the Max Lees Classic for two-year-olds over the 900-metre short course.
Chief Executive of Newcastle Racecourse Duane Dowell has only been in the top job since last month, but says he’s not nervous at all, just very excited for the weekend.
“This isn’t my first rodeo being manager at Muswellbrook for the previous six years but this is obviously a fair bit bigger!”
“I’m just really excited, I can’t wait to have just under 4000 people at the races on Saturday which is a big turnaround from what we thought was going to happen a few months ago, we were starting to wonder if we were going to get crowds back at all,”
“The fields that have assembled for Saturday are the best we’ve ever seen at Newcastle,” he said.
“We’ve got Lost and Running who ran in The Everest and then backed it up two weeks later and ran a cracking race in the Classic Legend race which was two weeks ago and a bit of a lead up to this race and over the years we’re going to start and create out own history here with The Hunter and its only going to get better and better.”
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees has several horses in the big race which Duane is very happy to see.
“We’ll always encourage the Newcastle trainers to support the day and Kris in particular, he has a large stable here at Broadmeadow and probably one of his better chances will be Gem Song, it’s coming back from a spell but certainly one of his better chances but he has several others too,”
“He could have up to five in the race depending on scratchings.”
“It’s great to see Kris supporting The Hunter,” said Duane.
More information: https://www.newcastleracecourse.com.au/