Sydney trainer Mark Newnham heads to Newcastle on Saturday hoping to bounce back from a successful but frustrating Thursday at Flemington and Hawkesbury.
Newnham’s Graceful Glamour was run down in the shadows of the post in group 1 VRC Oaks, while value chance Burning Passion was beaten into second by a head in the listed Ladies Day Cup. Earlier, Smart Missile filly Proven Class was a beaten favourite by a similar margin in a maiden handicap.
Newnham has the exciting Blazing Miss travelling to Newcastle to contest the opening 900m 2YO maiden plate on Saturday. The filly is raced by a syndicate put together by Darley Racing and carries the silks worn to victory by She Will Reign in the 2017 Golden Slipper.
Blazing Miss has stepped out once, on October 19, in a Warwick Farm trial on a heavy track. She was slowly away, travelled wide and finished over the top to win unextended. She has gate one over the short course but is coming up against a class field of first-starters.
“The only negative is that she may need further than 900,” Newnham said. “Blazing Miss is a nice big filly and will relax in the race. I had her in a trial on Friday, but when she came up with the rails barrier at Newcastle I decided to run her there.
“I don’t believe she can lead and I expect her to sit on the rail behind the leaders and hopefully she will finish over the top of them. All going well, she’ll run in the Golden Gift at Rosehill in a couple of weeks.”
“This filly looks to have a bright future. Another reason we are going to Newcastle is the magnificent big track. I have had a lot of luck at Newcastle since I took up training and of course Lanciato won the Newmarket up there.”
The 2YO maiden plate could be the highlight of the Newcastle meeting. Three of Australia’s most powerful stables – Godolphin, the Snowdens and Team Hawkes – all have debutants with impressive trial form.
The meeting is expected to be dominated by the Sydney stables and in addition to the above-mentioned stables, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, and Chris Waller also have strong representation.
Kris Lees, as is the norm, will carry the flag for the Novocastrians, albeit he has only three runners.
In race two, Lees’ filly Silver Melody resumes after an impressive debut win on her home track in June. She will be hard to beat after a nice recent trial with the in-form Andrew Gibbons in the saddle.
In the final event, Lees’ pair Wild Kingdom and Grand Bouquet will be well fancied.
Wild Kingdom won well first-up at Hawkesbury recently, while the New Zealand-bred filly Grand Bouquet also scored at Hawkesbury in August.
It’s the Pacific National Race Day in support of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, an annual favourite on the Newcastle Jockey Club’s calendar of major social and fundraising events.