Newcastle races: Trainer John Thompson eyes Queensland Oaks hit-out for Blanco Cara

John Thompson
John Thompson

The prospect of a rain-affected track at Doomben has prompted Randwick trainer John Thompson to float classy filly Blanco Cara back home to run at Newcastle on Saturday.

The New Zealand-bred Blanco Cara is a short-priced favourite for Saturday’s 2340-metre class one and maiden plate at Newcastle. Thompson intended starting her at Doomben on Saturday in The Roses, a vital lead-up to the group 1 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm on June 10.

Blanco Cara was sent to Brisbane after demolishing an 1850m maiden field at Newcastle on April 20. The three-year-old turned in an eye-catching performance in the Gold Coast Bracelet, a lead-up to the Oaks. She rattled home to finish three lengths behind Oaks favourite Dawn Wall over 1800m. She is a genuine Oaks aspirant and Thompson said on Friday she needed to race this weekend.

“The ideal situation is that this filly has a 2000-metre plus run this weekend, three weeks before the Oaks,” Thompson said. “She is a very strong staying filly and she will run 2400 metres without question, so all going well at Newcastle, Blanco Cara will head back to Queensland. However, if the Newcastle track is a soft 7 or worse, she won’t run there either.” 

Champion jockey Robert Thompson has one ride at Newcastle and that is the Hawkes-trained filly Primavera. Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said he was confident about the three-year-old’s prospects.

“We are taking her to Newcastle hoping she can win as she will be sold at the Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast next month. Her first-up run at Gosford was full of merit and this is a lovely race for her,” Hawkes said.

The lightly raced Primavera, bought for $520,000 at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale, has had four starts.

She was beaten three lengths in a Randwick two-year-old twelve months ago. The filly resumed in September for a close third at Kembla then she went to the paddock again.

Primavera was slow away when a fast finishing fourth at Gosford on May 4.

Former Albury trainer Brett Cavanagh, now based at Scone, has three live chances at the Newcastle meeting. ‘Cav’ saddles up Star Boy (race 1), Al Cubana (race 6) and Lunar Duchess (race 7).