Sweet mare due for a change of luck
MARK Newnham has a good team racing at Royal Randwick on Saturday but he's already starting to plan the spring carnival assignment for his top-liners.
Group 1 Surround Stakes winner Nakeeta Jane has been back in his stable for a month along with Greysful Glamour, while Scarlet Dream comes back on Friday. But it's Nakeeta Jane who Newnham thinks has the best opportunity to have spring success.
"She's open to the most improvement because she's had two race preparations and she's going to race at the right distance range where she's going to be effective," Newnham said.
"Scarlet Dream will probably need another preparation under her belt before she's ready to tackle the European stayers.
"If you're in the 1400m to 2000m distance range like Nakeeta Jane is then it's more open to Australian-bred horses. The Derby and Oaks horses go into a really strong pool of horses these days with the amount of imports."
The Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) will be the main goal for Nakeeta Jane and if she's going well enough she will miss the Melbourne spring to stay in Sydney for the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1600m) in November.
"It's a month after the Epsom so she could have a trial in between and go to the Golden Eagle, which would be the end of her spring," Newnham said.
"She can run in a Cox Plate next year. There's plenty of options if they're going good enough."
At Royal Randwick, Newnham sends four horses to their home track to race and he's hoping for a change in luck with two of them.
Sweet Victory lines up in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1600m) and is fourth-up after producing a few eye-catching runs this time in.
"She just had no luck the other day. She got trapped wide in a leader dominated race," Newnham said.
"From barrier one this time, she should be able to have a trouble-free run and take up a more forward position. All her runs have been good this time in and she's due a win.
"She went terrific first and second-up and she didn't go badly the other day, she just didn't get cover and the first three around the corner that day were the first three home so it was always going to be difficult to make ground."
Invictus Salute, who runs in the seventh race on Saturday over 1000m, also ran on well last start to finish second behind Spiritual Pursuit, who got all the breaks while Newnham's runner had to come from well back on the turn.
Robbie Dolan's claim won't be used on Saturday, though, because he's suspended, which will make things a touch harder, but the Exceed And Excel filly is very fit. She will have to do it from barrier 11.
"She's drawn wide again unfortunately so Christian (Reith) will have to work out where to put her," Newnham said.
"We've ridden her a couple of different ways. She came from off the pace last time and that's probably preferable but she's got early speed as well.
"The only negative she had is she goes up 3kg off her last run but she's in good form and handles wet ground."
Aim For Perfection runs in the last race after losing her undefeated tag last start at Canterbury Park when third to Misteed.
The Smart Missile filly had excuses that day and didn't entirely like the tight-turning Canterbury track. With Reith on board from barrier two she hopefully get the right run this time.
"She was a bit outpaced early last start and got into a position where it was going to be hard for her to win so I took the option of going up in grade and coming to a bigger track which will suit her," Newnham said.
"She's drawn well and there looks to be good pace. She'll be sitting just off them somewhere and I just think getting to the bigger track is going to suit her."
The Enzo starts the day for the Newnham stable and he returns off a 41-week spell to race in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1100m). Gelded during the spell, he has had two trials to get him ready for Saturday.
"He's a lot easier to handle as a gelding," Newnham said.
"He's first-up and will probably need a run. He's untested on heavy ground but it's the right time of the year to find out if he handles it."
Blake Shinn rides him from barrier six and he's the most in-form jockey in Sydney at the moment.
"It's good to get him on any horse at the moment and he's ridden him in work and the horse is coming up good at the moment," Newnham said.
"As a two-year-old it took him to get to 1200m to win so he'll improve off what he does on Saturday but he's had plenty of work."