Champion jockey to return home for key meeting

Craig Newitt in action
Craig Newitt in action

Champion jockey Craig Newitt returns home for Wednesday night's Launceston meeting and looks a great chance to land the feature double.

Newitt will ride Rebel Factor, who has been installed as the $2.25 favourite for the $150,00 Newmarket Handicp (1200m), and he's picked up the mount on D'oro Star, certain to be one of the popular fancies in the $125,000 3YO Cup (1200m).

Rebel Factor pleased his owner Chris Wickham with a winning Longford trial last Tuesday, scooting around the 800m in 45.46 seconds after he had been slightly disappointed with his Devonport trial 12 days earlier.

Devonport trainer Barry Campbell also has a strong hand in both the features, with his star galloper Alpine Wolf contesting the Newmarket first-up from a spell.

"We took him to Mowbray a fortnight ago and galloped him, and then we trialled him at Longford the other day, and I thought his trial was really good, he was strong through the line, we didn't knock him around," Campbell said.

"He won at Devonport first-up and ran a track record without a trial, but you probably have to be a little bit fitter for this type of race."

"He'll race handy, he can race on pace, I think he will settle in the first four or five, one off the fence we'd be happy with that."

Campbell will saddle-up Aruma in the 3YO Cup, the filly has won her past three starts and will be coming back in distance from her 1620m win last Wednesday night.

"We've walked her, she hasn't been out of a canter since she won, it's just a matter of getting her fresh.

"She's out in the paddock during the day. We've done very little with her. You've got to be able to run 1400m to win a 3YO Cup, she's really fit, and we'll be heading off at about the 600m or 700m."

Glenn Stevenson will have two runners in the Newmarket, Turk Warrior who opened at $5 and stable newcomer First Accused rated a $15 chance.

"Drawn a great gate (barrier 4) I can't fault his work, I thought he was a bit disappointing (7th first-up in the Goodwood), but we've changed a few things around.

"A bit of jumping, bit of sand dune work, a lot of water work and if he goes and presents the best he can then he's a chance," Stevenson said of First Accused.

Jockey David Pires, coming off four winners in Hobart on Sunday will ride Galenus and says he's not worried about the wide barrier draw.