WINNING TEAM: James Innes jnr takes Got Unders to victory at Rosehill in his only race ride on the gelding last August. Picture: bradleyphotos苏州夜总会招聘.au Jay Hopkins
Broadmeadow trainer Jay Hopkins never expected nominations for Friday’s group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400 metres) to be as strong when heput Got Unders down for the race.
With his family, many of whom are part-owners in the horse, coming from Coffs Harbour for a visit on Friday and the $11.2 million course proper opening at Newcastle Racecourse, Hopkins was hoping just to be part of the action at his adopted track.But after seeing the nominations, including Happy Clapper and Kris Lees’ Doncaster-bound Sense Of Occasion, Hopkins wasn’t so sure.
“I more than likely will accept,” Hopkins said on Tuesday. “I just want towait until morning and go from there. I want to see how many are accepting because if it’s going to be a big field, I don’t really want to start him.”
Got Unders was one of 17 nominations for the 16-horse field, which included several runners also listed for races elsewhere.Hopkins believed the opening of the new state-of-the-arttrack and likely heavy conditions for Saturday’s Golden Slipper meeting at Rosehill would mean a strong Newmarket field.
However, the rookie trainer, who had his first winner in January when Got Unders saluted at Randwick, said it was worth a first shot at black-type racingwith his seven-year-old gelding.
“I didn’t think the noms would be as strong as they were,” he said.“It will be tough for him but he’s in form, he’s had a bit of a freshen up, so we might as well. It’s just down the road.
“He’s probably in the best form of his career, it’s just that he’s an older horse. He worked really well this morning so he will more than likely go around.The owners are coming down anyway for the day, so they’d obviously like to have a runner in it.”
Hopkins has bookedJames Innes jnr, who has ridden Got Unders once for one win,for the race.
Randwick trainer Pat Webster confirmed on Tuesday that Happy Clapper would start in the Newmarket rather than the $1 million George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill, where Winx will chase a 16thconsecutive win against the likes of Black Heart Bart, Chautauqua and Lees’ Le Romain.
Lees, though, may not have a runner in the Newmarket.
Sense Of Occasion is also down to trial at Randwick on Thursday ahead of the April 1Doncaster Mile.Lees said last week that Sense Of Occasion would run first-up in the Doncaster.
Meanwhile, Lees’ The Wasp, Raido and Twist Tops were down to chase a Provincial Championships final start at Gosford on Wednesday. Newcastle’s Paul Perry (Gadfly) and Alan Scorse (What Could Be) also have runners in the qualifier.