HOUSE SIMPLY 'GREAT' IN NEWCASTLE CUP WIN

A long-range plan to get Highclere Australia's Great House to the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups remains on track after the Chris Waller trainee took out the $250,000 Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on Friday.

Ridden by Jeff Penza, who swept the three features at Newcastle on Friday by also taking the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) on Madam Legend and the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1400m) on Ashman, Great House gave Waller a fourth Newcastle Gold Cup win, emerging as the superior stayer of the field in the process.

An imported son of champion stallion Galileo, Great House was given the run of the race, travelling two pairs back from the lead before pouncing on the lead early in the straight.

Australian Derby winner Quick Thinker, which raced to the inside of Great House throughout, fought back gallantly over the latter stages but came up short.

Great House ($13) defeated the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Quick Thinker ($20) by a neck with the winner’s stablemate No Compromise ($7.50) closing off hard, three-quarters of a length away in third.

Great House’s win guarantees the gelding a place in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 2. The five-year-old has 50kg in the $750,000 handicap but Friday’s win opens the door to a weight penalty.

He is also eligible for a weight penalty for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 16 and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 2, with the gelding well down the order for both features.

"He went really well," Penza said. "He got keen mid-race but towards the back, he settled down nicely. He's still working it out but he did it really easily, he got within striking range before we even straightened up. And once he hit the front, he never looked back.

"It was a really strong win and I couldn't be happier with him."

Great House has now won four of his 12 starts, earning more than $340,000.

With Clinton Payne/Racenet

Congratulations to all of Great House's owners: Ann and Peter Woollett, Tom and Jo Rosenthal, John Calvert-Jones, Amanda Elliott, Allan Murray-Jones, Alex Harvey, Marilyn Wade, Anwar Badri, Sean O'Kelly, Dennis and Carrie Price, Sir Nicholas Soames, Lloyd Walker, Sharon and Andy Hills, Josh Matta, Monument Hill (Gary and Renee Theodore) and Paul Scope, as well as syndicates FRB Racing (Luke Borthwick, Jane Borthwick, John Flanigan and Peter Ramsay), and H T R A Great House (Peter Quirk, Tony Mitevski, Mathew Chan, Andrew and Pauline Dally, Kingsley Edwards, Shirley McGrath, Lorraine Podgornik and Anthea Sutherland).