Randwick trainer Mark Newnham will keep a promise to his apprentice Robbie Dolan when he rides Exclamation in the Woonona Bull RSL Class 1 Handicap (1000m) at Kembla Grange on Thursday.
The 21-year-old Irishman has joined Newnham stable after being rejected an apprenticeship in Victoria and moving to Sydney to ride trackwork before catching the trainer’s eye. A winner of five races back home in Ireland, Dolan impressed Newnham riding work at Warwick Farm and will be given his chance to make a career out of riding.
“I wasn’t really looking to have an apprentice but he can ride,” Newnham said. “We are going to look to follow a similar path to Rachel King and let him find his way in the country then come to the provincials before hopefully getting him to town.
“I told him he would ride this horse because he has done a bit of work on him at Goulburn but he got too much weight, so I decided to keep my word and let him ride him at Kembla. It will be his first provincial ride.
“Robbie has already ridden three winners since he started his time here and he will be riding in the country area to start with because the way the apprenticeship system is structured it is advantage to do that. I want to see him get the confidence of riding winners before moving through the system to the provincials.”
Exclamation is a tough horse for Newnham to place after seven placings including only one win from eight starts.
“He is up in the weights and pays for being consistent without winning. He has 60.5 kilos but is a nice horse. I have only given him the one trial to have him fresh first-up and he will be attacking the line over 1000m,” Newnham said.
There will also be a fair bit of interest in the appearance of Frankel colt Merovee, which was scratched from Canterbury on Wednesday to run in the Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club 3yo Maiden Plate (1400m) at Kembla.