After a career-best five wins at Newcastle last Saturday, jockey Jeff Penza returns to the provincial track hoping for more success.Penza has five rides, including favoured Maia Nebula and La Grisa.He full of confidence after his outstanding achievement when his five winners were at prices ranging from $4.40 out $21 and $26.“I’ve ridden four winners a few times before this was the first time I’ve managed five in my career,’’ Penza said.
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“It was a strange day last Saturday, it was just all happening for me,’’ Penza said.
“A couple drew outside barriers but it didn’t matter, they still landed in the right positions, and another couple ran out of their skins.
“But then you compare that to Wyong last Thursday when I had four really good chances.
“The first of those was $1.70 and ran fourth, another couple of my rides ran poorly and I left without a winner that day.’’
The talented jockey, who has notched 1945 winners, invariably rides at least 100 winners a season.
But injury has stalled his inevitable march towards the 2000-win barrier after a horror fall at Queanbeyan nearly two years ago.
Penza suffered multiple broken bones and required a number of surgeries before spending 10 months convalescing.
“I broke my left leg, wrist, elbow, shoulder and broke a couple of ribs,’’ he said.
“It took me 10 months to get back to the races.’’
Penza only made his comeback last September and has quickly returned to his consistent best, following his five winners at Newcastle last Saturday with another win on Ranges at Muswellbrook on Monday.
Ray Thomas says if your partial to a few Jokes then he has just the runner.Source:News Corp Australia
BEST BETS WITH RAY THOMAS: NEWCASTLE
BEST BET: MO’S CROWN (Race 6, No. 1)
Drops significantly in grade to a class 2 after a competitive sixth at Listed level in the Darby Munro Stakes at Rosehill on Slipper Day. Drawn to get
the right run and should win.
NEXT BEST: JOKES (Race 3, No. 10)
First-up from a favourable draw and following a brilliant Hawkesbury barrier trial win. A well-bred Deep Field filly who was placed at Gosford when last in work.
BEST EXOTIC: QUADDIE
R4: 1, 3, 6, 8. R5: 1, 2. R6: 1, 4, 7. R7: 3, 9, 11, 12.
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Christian Reith has a full book of very competitive rides, including favoured trio Dreaming Of Gold (R2), Jokes (R3) and Pride Of Adelaide (R5).
BEST BETS WITH RAY THOMAS: COFFS HARBOUR
BEST BET: ASTRALIS (Race 2, No. 6)
Runner-up in three city races from six starts and in winnable maiden today. A filly with ability who has been effective on soft and heavy tracks.
NEXT BEST: VERNAZZA (Race 5, No. 3)
Ran third successive second when beaten less than a length on the Gold Coast in a class 3. Looks placed to advantage.
TRAINER TO FOLLOW
Matthew Dunn has winning chances in all seven races, including Astralis (R2), Rest Of The World (R4), Vernazza (R5) and Unimpeded (R7).
That leaves Penza on 49 winners this season and he can bring up his “half century” in the opener with Maia Nebula in the Class 1 Handicap (2300m).
Godolphin filly Maia Nebula is dropping back significantly in grade after finishing down the track behind stablemate Colette in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on day one of The Championships.
Penza rode Maia Nebula two starts back when she ran third to Colette over 1600m at Kembla Grange.
Colette has been a revelation this autumn carnival, winning the Group 1 Australian Oaks last Saturday.
“I know Maia Nebula failed last but she was in a much harder race,’’ Penza said.
“She is back in grade and the 2300m is the key. The distance is going to help her and I’m sure she will run well.’’
Penza is looking forward to riding the emerging John O’Shea-trained grey mare La Grisa in the Class 2 Handicap (1600m).
La Grisa’s clash with frontrunning three-year-old Pride Of Adelaide is going to be compelling because the mare will be giving her younger rival a start and will have to try to chase him down.
Penza won on La Grisa over 1850m at Newcastle when last in work and was impressed with the mare’s fast-finishing fourth over 1400m on this track two weeks ago.
“She was really good first-up,’’ he said. “She is a mare with a good turn of foot and a strong finish on her.’’
Penza’s other rides are Broadlea (Maiden Handicap, 1500m), Arrogant Lass (Class 2 Handicap, 1200m) and Marise (Benchmark 64 Handicap, 1400m).
Ray Thomas’s best bet comes in the sixth with the topweight getting his seal of approval.Source:News Corp Australia
INSIDE MAIL WITH RAY THOMAS: NEWCASTLE
Maia Nebula was beaten a long way on the heavy track behind subsequent Oaks winner Colette in the Adrian Knox Stakes. Her previous form was good and she did run right away with her maiden at Hawkesbury over 2000m. She is back in her right grade today. Echo Lad jumps sharply in trip from 1600m to 2300m but he will race on speed and give his backers a sight. True Marvel did well to edge out Rond De Jambe at Goulburn and the form out of that race has been franked since. Sciconic has had a few chances of late but he finds a winnable race here.
BET: MAIA NEBULA TO WIN, BOX TRIFECTA 2,3,4,5.
Dreaming Of Gold has been to the races six times and found one better every start. She has been a beaten odds-on favourite at her last two runs but gets her chance to finally break her bridesmaid tag today. Ready to win. Princess Ariana raced on speed and held on reasonably well for third at Wyong. Improver but goes from 1000m straight to 1300m. Natanya faded from the turn when resuming at Warwick Farm but is fitter and will find this easier. Southern Queen is an each way chance.
BET: DREAMING OF GOLD IS VERY SHORT BUT THIS LOOKS HER RACE.
This looks a match between Jokes and From The Hip. Both are resuming off impressive barrier trial wins. Jokes finished strongly to win her trial at Hawkesbury and she was placed at Gosford when last in work. From The Hip was competitive in three starts at his debut race campaign including a Newcastle minor placing last spring. He’s looked sharp in two barrier trial wins in recent weeks. The barrier draw makes it advantage Jokes. Stooge and Vinrose are chances.
BET: JOKES TO WIN BUT WATCH BETTING MOVES FOR FROM THE HIP.
Any Wish is working her way up to a win. Her three runs this preparation have all been solid efforts including successive thirds at Kembla Grange and Gosford. She is back slightly in trip but that is of no real concern as she races on speed. Reinvest is a superbly-bred Redoute’s Choice three-year-old out of an Oaks winner and from a powerful stable. Broadlea and Liam’s The Boss are worth consideration.
BET: ANY WISH EACH WAY
Race of the day between La Grisa and Pride Of Adelaide. I am leaning to La Grisa to upset Pride Of Adelaide. The John O’Shea-trained La Grisa got a long way back but was doing her best work on the line when resuming to just miss a place over 1400m. She might prefer it a touch further but the genuine up-front tempo suits her and she will be finishing powerfully. Pride Of Adelaide won successive provincial races by big margins then struggled when down the track before Quick Thinker in the Tulloch Stakes. He is back in his right race today but is very short in betting. Arrogante is fitter for recent racing and Amazing Peace can sprint well fresh.
BET: LA GRISA TO WIN
Mo’s Crown looks very hard to beat. He has the speed to take full advantage of his favourable barrier and is back to a class 2 today after competitive efforts in competitive stakes races during the autumn carnival including his close sixth to California Zimbol in the Darby Munro Stakes. Aytobe won his maiden at Wyong very easily but bumps into a smart type today. Joy And Mirth ran a blinder at Wyong first-up and if there is to be an upset, she looms as the most likely. Texas Forever has an unbeaten first-up record but has drawn the car park.,
BET: MO’S CROWN TO WIN, SAVER ON JOY AND MIRTH
City Of Love caught the eye first-up, working her way through the field from well back on the turn to finish full of running when third over 1200m here. She will be improved by that run and gets out to a more suitable 1400m today. Big Bad Bruce doesn’t know how to run a bad race. Placed both starts at the provincials since resuming but his wide draw is a leveller. Opinions is holding his form but also has to deal with a horror draw, while Anubis did sprint well fresh at Warwick Farm back in January before failing on that track next start. He has been freshened since but has trialled well.
BET: BOX TRIFECTA 3,9,11,12
Newcastle and Coffs Harbour host the two thoroughbred meetings in NSW on Tuesday.Source:News Corp Australia
Arcalette meets Unleash The Red 2kg better at the weights today after being beaten nearly two lengths into second placing at Grafton. Fitter for two runs back from a spell and being out of a Galileo mare, the step up to 1615m should suit. Although Unleash The Red is up to 62kg, it’s hard to knock him as he was very strong late at Grafton and the extra trip suits. Tiomo is back in winning form and Rumberella is honest but has drawn right off the track.
BET: QUINELLA 3,11
Unimpeded ran wide on the turn but kept working to the line strongly when second at Murwillumbah when resuming. She will be improved by the run and from the favourable draw, should go close. With Triple The Fun unlikely to run, Painted Wolf does sprint well fresh and looms as a winning chance. Lost Light won well second-up and is drawn to get the right run. Annie Ethyl is a genuine type and will be competitive.
BET: BOX TRIFECTA 2,4,5,8,10
Originally published asNewcastle tips: Debutante will get punters laughing
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