Pride pair in the Hunt

Joe Pride with a dual attack on Newcastle feature.

COAL CRUSHER. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

With a name like Coal Crusher you could reasonably expect the gelding to feel at home in a place like Newcastle, and Joe Pride will be hoping the horse feels just like that in the feature event The Hunter on Saturday.

The $1 million highlight over 1300-metres takes New South Wales racing's centre stage this weekend and it is a race that Pride has targeted with the six-year-old this preparation.

Coming off a fourth placing and finishing less than two lengths behind Bella Nipotina in the Giga Kick Stakes over the same distance at Rosehill on November 4, Coal Crusher finds what Pride believes is a winnable race.

"He's a nice horse and he has been set for this all along," Pride said.

"His lead-ups have been good with the three runs so far and he is set to peak for this."

Coal Crusher is rated a $6.50 chance in what is an open race with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Mazu and Jason Collett-ridden Far Too Easy sharing favouritism at $5.50.

Records are often hard to argue with and with three wins over 1300 metres, one of them at Newcastle last November plus two other placings at the track, the son of Turffontein will joined by stablemate Sinawann.

A recent acquisition this preparation to Pride's stable, Sinawann was previously trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman in Victoria.

A $61 chance in The Hunter, Pride says that the first run for his stable which delivered an eighth placing in the Choisir Benchmark 100 event over 1100-metres at Randwick on November 7 had more merit than the rest may show.

"He ran quite well, actually," Pride adds.

"He had no luck and got knocked over. I thought he ran well."

2022 winner Vilana has been scratched from The Hunter with James Cummings instead favouring running the five-year-old stallion in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.