Newnham's patience could produce a very fine result

Trainer Mark Newnham hopes his decision to be patient with talented mare A Very Fine Red will reap rewards with a stakes win this preparation but he’s also confident she can run well fresh at Rosehill on Saturday.

Trainer : MARK NEWNHAM.
Trainer : MARK NEWNHAM. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

The Irresistible Pools And Spas Handicap (1100m) will be the first time the four-year-old has not contested a stakes race since her last win just over 12 months ago.

Newnham had planned an earlier start to her spring but after watching her two barrier trials he elected to be conservative and not charge into the campaign too soon.

"That's the reason I gave her a little longer before running her, I thought she needed to be a bit fitter and I thought I'd give her an extra couple of weeks work,'' he said.

"She's going well, she's taken a while off the winter break which is quite common so I've held her back a little longer until I thought she was ready to run."

A Group 3 race in Melbourne will be A Very Fine Red's next start and based on her form last season she wouldn't be out of place.

She was unlucky in a Group 3 down south last spring and she chased Mazu and Mallory home first-up in the autumn on a heavy track at Rosehill.

Tyler Schiller takes 1.5kg off A Very Fine Red, who was $9.50 with TAB on Thursday, and Newnham says from the inside barrier she will have her chance to perform.

"She's been good in good grade and there's no reason not to like her from a good draw,'' he said.

"I only wanted to run her over 1100m and it's the best lead up we can have. She's down in grade and has a good draw for 1100m at Rosehill, and she has some wet form."

Front-running mare Expat will strip a much fitter horse for the Group 2 $400,000 Racing & Sports Golden Pendant (1400m) and Newnham said she'll be right in her comfort zone on Saturday.

The mare resumed in the Mona Lisa Stakes at Wyong and Newnham concedes she wasn't fit enough to cope with the way the race panned out.

"She wasn't quite ready, it was run at a really strong tempo and she probably needed the run,'' he said.

"She gets back to her favourite track and most likely conditions to suit."

From an inside gate and on wet ground it's expected that Expat, $11 with TAB on Thursday, will return to the on pace tactics that has taken her to four wins from seven starts at Rosehill.

"That's when she runs at her best and her best form is at Rosehill,'' he said.

"She won the Millie Fox last prep and I thought her run in the Coolmore Classic was excellent and she was probably only half a length or so away from running second in that race."


Racing and Sports