CHAM­PION jockey Craig Ne­witt is re­turn­ing to Tas­ma­nia, mark­ing a new chap­ter in his rid­ing ca­reer.

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - PE­TER STA­PLES SUN­DAY SEPTEMBER 24 2017

CHAM­PION jockey Craig Ne­witt opens a new chap­ter in his rid­ing ca­reer in Ho­bart to­day af­ter end­ing a 15-year stint of rid­ing against the best in the na­tion and over­seas.

Ne­witt’s de­ci­sion to re­turn to his home state to live is a huge bonus for Tas­ma­nian thor­ough­bred rac­ing as he re­turns with 35 Group 1 vic­to­ries to his credit from over 1700 win­ners ac­crued mainly in Vic­to­ria but spread as far ashore as Royal As­cot in the UK where he won at Group 1 level.

The tal­ented rider and his wife and four chil­dren re­lo­cate to Devon­port this week and Ne­witt will be hop­ing to make his mark at El­wick with seven rides on the eight-event card.

The first race has been re­duced by two early scratch­ings leav­ing a small field of four and Ne­witt’s mount is the likely favourite Bidi­rec­tional from the Adam Trinder sta­ble.

Bidi­rec­tional is rac­ing well out of his class in the bench­mark 82 Hand­i­cap over 2100 me­tres but with the top weight, Sly Ro­mance, scratched it leaves an even field of which Bidi­rec­tional is the top-rated at 68.

The six-year-old geld­ing has had only one start in Ho­bart for an im­pres­sive win over 1600 me­tres, al­beit 18 months ago, but he also is a win­ner over the trip in Launce­s­ton on a soft 5-rated track.

Ne­witt’s other mounts are con­sid­ered good each-way hopes and four are for reign­ing pre­mier trainer Scott Brun­ton.

Box of Frogs (race 6) and Farewell An­gelina (race 7) ap- pear the best of the quar­tet although there is the un­known fac­tor to con­sider with Go­ing Pur­ple that his first start for Brun­ton in a 1200-me­tre maiden (race 2).

Go­ing Pur­ple has been kept safe in the mar­ket at $4.40 with Sports­bet fixed odds af­ter as much as $4.80 was of­fered, how­ever sta­ble­mate Flikpix is favourite at $2.40 but she also is nom­i­nated for Launce­s­ton on Wed­nes­day night.

With the past eight meet­ings hav­ing been held on the syn­thetic track at Devon­port there is no re­cent form to guide pun­ters so it could come down to pun­ters pin­ning their hopes in the rep­u­ta­tions of the jock­eys and or train­ers.

The best backed of Brun­ton’s run­ners is Love Magic, which is top weight in the bench­mark 72 Hand­i­cap (race 5) and he has firmed from his open­ing quote of $11 to $4.40.

The five-year-old geld­ing comes off a win in Launce­s­ton over 1220 me­tres on July 2 and he races best when fresh. fin­ished sec­ond with a luck.

“Every­thing went to plan to­day and he ran re­ally dom­i­nantly.”

Lind­say Park quinel­laed the race with Samovare, the sub­ject of a $34,000 bet with TAB, be­fore fin­ish­ing more than three lengths be­hind her sta­ble­mate.

The Nat­u­ral­ism was Jameka’s Cup spring­board last year and TAB quickly un­der­scored the author­ity of Har­lem’s vic­tory by halv­ing his odds to $13 for the Cup.

Dwayne Dunn en­joyed a trou­ble-free run be­fore sweep­ing past Stam­pede, rev­el­ling in a vic­tory for some of the Kan­ga­roo Is­land-based con­nec­tions in Stam­pede.

“There was a lit­tle bit of speed early and he prob­a­bly didn’t re­lax for me un­til the top of the hill and then he set­tled down beau­ti­fully,” he said.

“Noel Cal­low (Samovare) moved out of my way three­wide to make a run and I was able to fol­low through.

“He’s just a typ­i­cal im­port – he’ll keep get­ting bet­ter.”

Twice a win­ner over 2400m in Europe, Har­lem was fourth in the 2016 Prix Ker­gor­lay – the race used by Amer­i­cain and Pro­tec­tion­ist en route to Mel­bourne Cup tri­umphs – at his last run be­fore trav­el­ling to Aus­tralia.

“It prob­a­bly took a lit­tle while to ac­cli­ma­tise, didn’t get the right runs in tran­sit a cou­ple of times,” Dunn said.

“To­day worked out per­fectly and he gives the im­pres­sion he’ll be bet­ter over fur­ther.” lit­tle


HOME­COM­ING: Craig Ne­witt will ride seven races at El­wick to­day, mark­ing his re­turn to Tas­ma­nia.

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