A Very Fine Red set to have the drop on rivals

Star jockey Hugh Bowman will link with a promising filly at Scone.

Jockey : HUGH BOWMAN. Picture: Steve Hart

The promise of a dryer track coupled with a better barrier draw has put talented filly A Very Fine Red on target to return to form at Scone. 

The three-year-old will line up in the Listed Denise's Joy Stakes (1100m) on Saturday after coming up with gate eight in the 16-horse field. 

Hugh Bowman has been booked to ride her for the first time and with the track rated a soft 5 on Wednesday, connections are hoping she can land a valuable stakes win. 

"It has been a frustrating prep because she has drawn wide all the time," trainer Mark Newnham said. 

"The only time she drew in was first-up and she ran well." 

A Very Fine Red notched her second black-type placing when she resumed with a solid third behind Doomben 10,000 favourite Mazu in the Listed Fireball (1100m) at Randwick in March. 

She was in the market at her next start in the P J Bell Stakes but settled back and wide from an awkward draw and didn't have the best of luck in the straight, finishing eighth. 

"I did expect a bit more but those conditions we've had at Randwick, in a lot of those races it has been very hard to run on and she's got a style where she tends to get back with cover so I can be a bit forgiving there," Newnham said. 

With the Scone race a campaign target, Newnham had hoped to give A Very Fine Red a lead-up run at either Hawkesbury or the Gold Coast two weeks ago but neither option came to fruition due to a heavy track and wide draw respectively. 

Instead, A Very Fine Red tuned up for her Scone assignment with a barrier trial hitout behind Mazu last week to put herself back on target. 

The Scone carnival returns to the Hunter Valley town this week for the first time since 2019 after being held at Rosehill for the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

It has proven hugely popular with capacity fields for all but two of the 19 races across the two-days. 

The Scone Cup (1600m) is the feature on Friday with last-start Hawkesbury Cup winner Kirwan's Lane and Dr Drill opening equal favourites, while the Denise's Joy Stakes will be one of five black-type races on Saturday's 10-event fixture. 


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