Trainer Mark Newnham has called on some 'inside knowledge' in a bid to successfully begin a new association with Gooree Stud at Hawkesbury on Thursday. Newnham has opted to put blinkers on recent stable arrival Bombardier in the Hawkesbury Living Cancer Trust Class 1 Handicap (1300m).
No stranger, of course, to Gooree horses in his previous working life as an integral part of the Gai Waterhouse team, Newnham is saddling his first runner for them in his own right as a trainer. With Bombardier’s original mentor James Cummings taking up his new role as Godolphin’s head Australian trainer, Newnham has been fortunate to pick up a number of Gooree’s stock.
“It’s a great opportunity,” he enthused this morning. “At this stage, I’ve got about 15 Gooree horses on the books, including 10 yearlings and a few unraced two-year-olds. Bombardier is the only horse to have so far raced.”
Newnham explained that his knowledge of Bombardier’s family history prompted his decision to add blinkers to the three-year-old’s gear for his Hawkesbury assignment: “He is a half-brother to Gooree’s former Group 1 winners Desert War and Laser Hawk, and they improved once blinkers were added,” he said. “I rode Bombardier work after he came to me from James, and he’s big and raw.”
Smart Missile gelding Bombardier, unraced as a two-year-old, made a winning debut for Cummings at Kembla Grange on June 3. Subsequently, he was transferred 50m to Newnham’s Randwick set-up (he also has stables at Warwick Farm).
Newnham also nominated Bombardier for a Warwick Farm race on Saturday, but chose to keep him at the provincials for the time being: “He’s not quite ready yet for a Saturday race in town, and naturally I am keen to keep his winning momentum going and at the same time make a successful start with Gooree,” he said.
Newnham trialled Bombardier in blinkers when he finished a close third to Canterbury winner Spending To Win in a 1050m Randwick heat on June 23.
“He can handle weaker class making mistakes, but it’s a different story as he steps up in grade,” Newnham said. “I’m sure the blinkers will help him, and there’s no doubt he will continue to improve with racing.”
Bombardier is out of the Canny Lad mare High Heels, as are retired pair, dual Epsom Handicap winner Desert War (by Desert King) and Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk (by Artie Schiller).
Newnham says his first full season of training has exceeded expectations with 16 winners to date, including a Group 2 success (Skyline Stakes at Randwick in February) with Diamond Tathagata, who was also his maiden Golden Slipper Stakes runner when seventh to She Will Reign the following month. Diamond Tathagata is back in work and will trial at Randwick on Monday in preparation for a return to racing.
Bombardier is not the only interesting Hawkesbury runner tomorrow. Team Hayes has sent Commands filly Givem Hell to Sydney to contest the Hawkesbury Race Club Motel 2YO Maiden Plate (1000m). Givem Hill has raced only once when fifth in a 2YO Maiden Plate (1000m) at Adelaide’s Morphettville Parks circuit on June 10. Tim Clark has the mount tomorrow.
Consistent Base Camp (Jean Van Overmeire), a rival for Bombardier, is one of five runners for Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Scott Singleton. His others are Thai Boy (Christian Reith), Jaxim, Snippets Essential and Flys Away. Jess Taylor rides the latter trio.
Singleton, as with Newnham, is enjoying clearly his most successful season. Not only did he clinch a breakthrough Group success at home with Shazee Lee in the Hawkesbury Guineas, but his horses have earned more than a personal record $900,000 prizemoney.
Dual acceptors Cradle Mountain and Holt Street have been withdrawn from the Hawkesbury Gazette & Courier Maiden Plate (1100m) to instead make their debuts in the Richmond Golf Club 3YO Maiden Handicap (1000m).
Jason Collett rides Cradle Mountain, on whom he won a 791m Warwick Farm trial on June 15 on heavy ground. Tye Angland rides locally-trained Holt Street, who has trialled on five occasions and won two of them (at Rosehill and Hawkesbury in September and October last year respectively).
The rail is in the TRUE position for tomorrow’s meeting, and the track this morning was rated a “Soft 6” with a penetrometer reading of 5.13. Hawkesbury has received 6mm of rainfall in the past week, but none in the last 24 hours.
SELECTIONS RACE 1: COMMANDING WITNESS, Piracy, Full Of Beans. RACE 2: SPRIGHTLY MISS, Cradle Mountain, Holt Street. RACE 3: MISTER AGAR, Blenders Edition, O’Driscoll. RACE 4: SACRED EDGE, Happy Hustler, Letter To Juliette. RACE 5: BARNABAS, Hostwin Shadow, Twice As Sweet. RACE 6: RISEN, Moccasin Miss, Sonata Song. RACE 7: BOMBARDIER, Base Camp, Hostwin Meraki. RACE 8: FORTENSKY, Arigold, Drill Master. SPECIALS: BOMBARDIER, SPRIGHTLY LASS, COMMANDING WITNESS