The Newcastle Newmarket Handicap has been confirmed as the first up test for kiwi star He’s Remarkable as he prepares for a crucial autumn carnival.
The horse showed at the end of the spring that he was in career best form but had his Group 1 snatched away in the cruellest of fashions.
He was the first across the line by a clear margin in the Railway Stakes however lost top spot thanks to a successful protest from Luckygray in hugely controversial circumstances.
That saga continues with an appeal to be heard in the coming days but now trainer Roger James has a clear target to focus himself.
The overall grand final for He’s Remarkable will be a month after the Newcastle Newmarket in the $2 million Doncaster Mile.
The Broadmeadow feature should give a good form line on him for that event given He’s remarkable was successful over the 1400m trip during the Melbourne Cup Carnival before travelling to Perth to face the 1600m.
Against his chances though is a poor record for travelling horses in the Newcastle Newmarket.
It’s not just overseas horses either, the last time a horse from outside New South Wales won the race was Blue Boss 1992.
He was originally from Argentina before going to Melbourne under the care of David Hall.
If James elects to bring a kiwi rider with him his chances get even worse, no jockey from outside NSW has won it since Queenslander Alan Russell on Pimpala Son in 1995.
As for claiming a double with the Doncaster that’s a tough ask as well.
Apart from Secret Savings in 1997 and Patezza in 2005 no other horse has managed it in the past 20 years.
Few would begrudge He’s Remarkable changing that though, the four year old deserving of a change of luck in the minds of many.