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2022 The Hunter Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

Another new addition to the Racing NSW calendar in recent years, The Hunter, is a 1300m quality handicap held at Newcastle Racecourse. Although not a Group 1, the $1m feature has attracted some big names since its inaugural running in 2019 and was taken out last year by top class sprinter Lost And Running.

Looking at the market, Dabble has the Waterhouse/Bott trained, In The Congo, favourite at $4.20 off the back of his run in the Golden Eagle. Fourth emergency, Waihaha Falls, is well in commission at $4.40 as is the Godolphin trained, Vilana, at $5.50. Queensland galloper, Apache Chase ($7.50), and seasoned gelding, Eleven Eleven ($9.00), are also given a chance.

As we know, horse racing can be a tough game at the best of times, and this year’s Hunter looks a real head scratcher for punters. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of The Hunter 2022 along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Apache Chase (13) – $7.50
Jockey – Jim Byrne 59kg
Trainer – Desleigh Forster

G1 winning Queenslander who hasn’t been far away at Randwick his past couple, the latest behind Rocketing By in the Sydney Stakes. Has to lug the top weight here which is no easy task but is a class horse and will be in it for a long way.

2. Overpass (18) – $15
Jockey – Rachel King 58.5kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Finished 2.7L from the winner in The Everest two back before an ok run in the Golden Eagle last start. Looks better suited back in trip here but has drawn off the track with a lot of weight. No doubt he’s good enough to win but prefer him over 1100m/1200m.

3. Eleven Eleven (16) – $9.00
Jockey – Tommy Berry 58kg
Trainer – Gregory Hickman

Ran well first up, despite being no match for Bella Nipotina, in the Manikato Stakes. Generally improves second up and will appreciate the rise in trip but will need luck from the gate. No doubt he’ll be set for the Magic Millions Carnival in January but this looks a good stepping stone and Newcastle should suit.

4. Gem Song (6) – $19
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 57.5kg
Trainer – Kris Lees

Found the line well first up in the Sydney Stakes. Is a two time winner here at Newcastle, both at Group 3 level, and should get a nice run in transit from the good draw. Bowman goes on and he looks one of the main contenders here second up at a good price.

5. In The Congo (2) – $4.20F
Jockey – Tim Clark 57kg
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

The 2021 Golden Rose winner who led everywhere bar the post first up in the Sydney Stakes. Led them up again last start and was far from disgraced in the Golden Eagle. Drop back to 1300m looks ideal here and he’ll land straight on the bunny from the inside draw. Tough to beat.

6. Vilana (9) – $5.50
Jockey – Nash Rawiller 57kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Sprouted wings first up to score a dominant win in the Silver Eagle. Drew 20/20 last start in the Golden Eagle and was again very good through the line. Has been better treated by the barrier draw this time round and should appreciate a genuine tempo here. Nash sticks with him and he looks very hard to beat here.

7. Ingratiating (4) – $20
Jockey – Sam Clipperton 56.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Second of the Godolphin runners who has been back to the trials following his last placed effort in The Everest. Steps up to 1300m now, where he is untried, but won’t spend any petrol from the good gate. Has plenty of ability and some good form on paper but a few too many question marks here.

8. Bandersnatch (5) – $18
Jockey – Koby Jennings 56kg
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Ran I Wish I Win to 1.2L first up before being outbobbed by Aegon at Caulfield. Worked from the wide gate with 61kg last start and was entitled to weaken late. Will enjoy a much better run in transit here, is a winner at Newcastle and will appreciate the weight drop. Going well this prep and deserves to be included in winning calculations at good odds.

9. Lion’s Roar (11) – $81
Jockey – Reece Jones (a) 56kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

G1 winner who returns here after a twelve month spell. Has some very strong form lines on paper and is a winner here at Newcastle. Recent trials suggest he may need this but is capable of figuring in the money if he’s close to peak condition.

10. Sky Lab (15) – $34
Jockey – Jason Collett 55kg
Trainer – Paul Perry

Resumes here off the back of an unplaced run in the Doncaster Handicap. Given two solid hit outs at the trials leading into this. Broke his maiden here at Newcastle but may need this run and will be better suited over further as he gets deeper into the prep.

11. Skyman (10) – $13
Jockey – James McDonald 55kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Resumed off a short spell to claim the Rowley Mile last start. Comes into this off the back of a similar break and has looked good in two recent trials. The McDonald/Waller combo has been lethal of late and he shouldn’t be far away come the business end.

12. Expat (20) – $31
Jockey – Tyler Schiller (a) 54kg
Trainer – Mark Newnham

Tough on pacer who wasn’t far away behind Promise Of Success last start at Randwick. Is a winner at this track and is a four time winner at the trip but will need everything to go his way from the carpark draw. Place chance at best.

13. Swats That (14) – $21
Jockey – Zac Lloyd (a) 54kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Top class mare who hasn’t won for over two years now. Covered ground and did well to finish as close as she did last start at Randwick. First up run behind Baller and Roch ‘N’ Horse reads well and if young hoop, Zac Lloyd, can weave some magic from the tricky draw, she will be in the finish.

14. Tycoonist (19) – $34
Jockey – Chad Schofield 54kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Enjoyed a nice run when he finished on the heels of the placegetters last start in the Sydney Stakes. Wasn’t far away behind Private Eye and Roch ‘N’ Horse the start prior. Another who has to overcome a bad gate but can figure in the finish with luck.

15. Aramayo (8) – $61
Jockey – Ashley Morgan 53.5kg
Trainer – Sam Kavanagh

Former Chris Waller trained galloper who resumes here for the new yard. Finished second in the G1 Epsom Handicap this time last year behind Private Eye. Not sure he’s going as well now but has been given two solid hit outs in preparation for this and shouldn’t be far away from the action.

16. Gravina (1) – $17
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 53kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Another of the blue army runners who chased home Argentia at Flemington last start. He recorded a good win at Caulfield the start prior and wasn’t far away behind I Wish I Win before that. Should get a suck run from the inside gate and has no weight on his back. Can figure in the placings if the gaps appear at the right time.

17e. Brutality (17) – $19
Jockey – Regan Bayliss 54kg
Trainer – Joseph Pride

Ran some good late splits in the Premiere Stakes first up before another strong finish in the Sydney Stakes. Took ground of them again last start late in the Winners Stakes and despite the form line reading 769 this prep, he is absolutely flying. Connections will be itching to get a run here because if he does, he’s a definite winning chance.

18e. Through The Cracks (7) – $26
Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 54kg
Trainer – Angela Davies

Gosford trainer gelding who resumed behind the smart Clemenceau and chased hard to the line. He has a good record here at Newcastle and races well second up. Another who, if he gains a start, can race competitively.

19e. Blondeau (3) – $71
Jockey – Kathy O’Hara 52kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Got back and failed to fire first up in the Sydney Stakes. Has since been back to the trials where he was given a quiet time. Has plenty of potential and a lethal finish on him when right, but hard to have in this field based on his latest effort.

20e. Waihaha Falls (12) – $4.40
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 52kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

Made good ground through the park first up in the Sydney Stakes to finish right on the winners heels. Drops 6.5kg here and has a good second up record. Easy to understand why he is second favourite but looks unlikely he’ll gain a start. If he does, he can win.

Final Word

The glamour and glory of the Spring Carnival may be over for another year, but the good racing hasn’t stopped and this year’s Hunter is a prime example.

Really like the way Vilana has come back this prep. He was a dominant winner first up in the $1m Silver Eagle before charging home in the Golden Eagle last start. Fair to say the outside gate ruined his winning chances there, but from the nice draw here can race closer and looks the one to beat.

Not often you see a race where the emergencies are so well respected and look hard to beat. Brutality has finished well in all three runs back this prep, running some fantastic late splits, most recently behind Private Eye. This race looks an ideal target and despite the wide draw looks very hard to hold out. Waihaha Falls can also run a big race if he gains a start, but his chances of doing so look slim.

In The Congo will make his own luck on speed and should be nearing peak condition third up, Gem Song is capable second up and Skyman has trialled well leading into this and won first up last prep off a similar break. Bandersnatch is another who should be included in exotic bets.

The Hunter TipLogo

6. Vilana – Each-way ($5.50/$2.15)

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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

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2021 The Hunter Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

The third edition of The Hunter, to be held this Saturday, November 13th, is jam packed with talent and has a capacity field of 15 + 4 emergencies. A lot of horses have come out of the Winner Stakes, while we have a fair few that are first up from a spell, however the most intriguing runner may be the European import, Top Ranked. 

Looking at the market, Dabble has Lost And Running as $3.20 favourite, looking to do one better than his 1L 2nd in the Classique Legend (Winner) Stakes, behind Eduardo. That followed a fourth place in The Everest, highlighting the form he is in right now. Behind him in the market is Top Ranked ($5) and Bandersnatch ($7), as the only other runners in single figures. 

However, it isn’t just limited to those three! we have dissected each of their chances for you! Read on below to find out runner by runner preview of the 2021 The Hunter along with The Shark’s The Hunter best tips. 

1. Lost And Running (17) – $3.20
Jockey – Hugh Bowman
Trainer – John O’Shea

Lost And Running has really come on over his last two runs, coming fourth in The Everest before coming second to Eduardo in the Winner Stakes. However, he will have to overcome the top weight and a wide draw, meaning Hugh Bowman will need to be on top of his game. 

2. Top Ranked (7) – $5
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

While he may be asking for further, Top Ranked brings some nice European form into the race. He has run behind the likes of Palace Pier over in England and that form is clearly better than any of this, but after a few months off and a long trip over here, is he ready? The Neasham camp is obviously doing a lot right at the moment, and have said he has better form coming over than Zaaki did, plus he gets the services of James McDonald, but there may be a bit against him. 

3. Gem Song (1) – $17
Jockey – Nash Rawiller
Trainer – Kris Lees

Gem Song is coming off an exceptional prep to start this year, having three runs with a win – ahead of Cascadian, a fourth behind Masked Crusader and a fifth behind Think It Over. All of those are exceptional formlines, given the Spring Carnivals they have just had. He also has two wins and two thirds from five first-up runs but all his form is on good tracks and there is a fair bit of rain forecast over the next 48 hours. 

4. Kementari (13) – $23
Jockey – Joshua Parr
Trainer – James Cummings

Special K looked absolutely back with a win down the Flemington straight in the Gilgai Stakes but went up to Sydney and underperformed in both his runs there. Soft tracks are definitely his go, but he has a wide draw and may be a step behind some of the younger types here. 

5. Bandersnatch (8) – $7
Jockey – Tommy Berry
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

After finishing his last prep off with back to back listed wins, Bandersnatch is kicking off in a big listed race, The Hunter. He has to be a main danger given he is a perfect 1/1 at the track, has two wins from five first-up runs, has form on both good and soft tracks and Tommy Berry is on fire at the moment. 

6. Signore Fox (19) – $26
Jockey – Brodie Loy
Trainer – Peter & Paul Snowden

Signore Fox was considered for the last The Everest slot this year but has returned two ok performances so far and probably justified being left out of the race. He does have good third-up form, 6:2-1-0, and has won both at the track and over 1300m, but would need to improve greatly to factor. 

7. Standout (5) – $17
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy
Trainer – Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou

After three straight placings, Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexio would be hoping that Standout finally gets over the top here. The massive positive for him is, based on the Winner Stakes run, he gets a 4.5kg weight swing on Lost And Running, despite only finishing a length behind him. That is a massive difference and he has drawn to get a nice run, but he will want it as dry as possible. 

8. Dawn Passage (6) – $13
Jockey – Tim Clark
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

The camp admitted Dawn Passage would be giving up a fitness edge to his rivals in the Winner Stakes, and then it didn’t help that he was caught three-wide without cover for most of the run. He will be better for that effort but has no second up stats, indicating he may hit a flat spot here. He does handle all conditions and has a win and a third at the distance, all he needs is Tim Clark to get him closer to the rails and preferably with some cover. 

9. Roheryn (15) – $34
Jockey – Jason Collett
Trainer – James Cummings

It has been a prep to forget for Roheryn and there is no reason why he would factor in this. He does his best work first or second up and he failed to fire in his first two runs this time around. 

10. Sweet Deal (16) – $31
Jockey – Brock Ryan
Trainer – John Thompson

It is hard to consider Sweet Deal on the back of her two runs so far this prep. Her saving grace is that she is a Newcastle specialist, with two wins and a second from three runs, and a 1300m specialist, with four wins and two seconds from seven runs. Can she compete against some much more credentialed horses, albeit up to 5kg lighter than some of them?

11. Prime Candidate (3) – $17
Jockey – Robbie Dolan
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Prime Candidate has had a fair go at it this prep, with three third placings from three runs, including in the Sydney Stakes when behind Standout, who is also a $17 chance (tweet above). He has to be a main consideration considering the odds, his prep so far, the fact that he can handle all track types and is 2/3 when fourth up from a spell. He gets a nice draw to shoot to the front and will definitely be in the finish. 

12. Special Reward (2) – $34
Jockey – Glyn Schofield
Trainer – Kris Lees

While he has good stats at the distance, and the track, Special Reward can’t factor based on a 9th and 8th so far this prep. 

13. Stockman (11) – $41
Jockey – Jay Ford
Trainer – Joseph Pride

Stockman may be one over the odds here. He finished last prep with two good wins, is 4:1-0-1 first up and has had two solid trials in the lead up to this. He has a win and a second from two runs at the distance and doesn’t mind a rain affected track. There are clearly a few that have better credentials, but it wouldn’t surprise to see him feature in the finish. 

14. Countofmontecristo (12) – $61
Jockey – Ron Stewart
Trainer – Kris Lees

Only missing the place in two of your nine first up runs, including four wins, is nothing to breeze over. Countofmontecristo has some good stats for this race and has had two very good trials in the lead up, but is the eight-year-old up to the level?

15. Wandabaa (14) – $26
Jockey – Andrew Adkins
Trainer – Kris Lees

Wandabaa is such an honest performer and always seems to run a good race. She has never missed a place when third up from a spell and can handle all conditions, but prefers it wet. She has also never missed a place at Newcastle, which is a massive positive considering some of her rivals will have never been here before. She does have to overcome a wide draw, but if she can find cover, she will definitely be in there at the end. 

16e. Criaderas (9) – $21
Jockey – Rachel King
Trainer – James Cummings

The first of the emergencies has the 8th best odds in the race, despite needing luck to get in. Criaderas has had just one run so far this prep and to be fair, it was disappointing. It was a classic Godolphin backmaker with too much ground to make up, but this gelding does have a knack of typically making up that ground. If he gets into the race, he will definitely be in with a chance, especially since he is 1/1 at the track and loves the 1300m. 

17e. Brutality (4) – $71
Jockey – Kathy O’Hara
Trainer – Joseph Pride

Will need a fair bit of luck to get in and then will need even more luck to compete with them if he does. 

18e. Never Talk (10) – $51
Jockey – Dylan Gibbons
Trainer – Kris Lees

While she is third emergency, Never Talk could be a danger horse if she gets in and the rain continues to come. She has great wet stats and is 1/1 at Newcastle. 

19e. Pandano (18) – $126
Jockey – TBA
Trainer – Paul Perry

He won’t get in and won’t factor even if he does. 

Final Word

This looks to be a cracking edition of The Hunter and while there are a clear top three in the market, this may be a good race to play exotics with. There are at least three horses in double figure odds that have serious claims at winning the race, which could make it interesting.

However, while there are some dangers in the race, the top two do look a level above. Lost And Running comes out of a strong edition of The Everest while Top Ranked has exceptional European form. When comparing those two, and also looking for some value, it is hard to go past Top Ranked. 
Dabble Rocket Boost

He is a perfect 5/5 when first up, he has form on both good and soft tracks, gets a much more favourable draw than the favourite, and gets the services of James McDonald. If you have a Rocket Boost available on Dabble, we’d recommend using it to get Top Ranked’s odds even bigger than what the other bookies are offering, and we are more than happy to take that here. 

Best The Hunter Tip: Top Ranked – Win ($5)

If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our The Hunter page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Dabble.