By Brad Gray
Would you believe that Golden Slipper runner Diamond Tathagata was Mark Newnham’s first horse?
“I had him broken in a Warwick Farm. He was bought for me even before I had a licence so I’ve managed the process all the way through so for him to end up in the Slipper has been pretty amazing,” said Newnham.
Diamond Tathagata was a brave winner of the Skyline Stakes back in late February where he accounted for subsequent Pago Pago Stakes winner Single Bullet who was a length back in third.
Diamond Tathagata's Skyline win
“He is untapped having only had the two starts and has performed really well both times. He’s in the race, won over 1200m and won on heavy ground so he ticks a few boxes,” said Newnham.
“If anything, the wet track might take some speed away from the fillies.”
Having a Golden Slipper runner less than a year into training under his own name is an achievement not lost on Newnham.
“It gives other people more confidence in me than myself. Owners looking at me going forward are now thinking there is somebody who can do the job.”
“Our results have been really good in a short amount of time which shows I’ve got a good understanding of what it takes and I’ve won with a variety of horses from two-year-olds to five-year-olds. Horses on the pace, from last, horses from midfield.”
“Most of my horses are unraced which is exciting because you don’t know what you’ve got. Every week that goes by your horse might show you a little more.”
Newnham, who before breaking out on his own was assistant trainer to the Gai Waterhouse stable, is hoping to double his numbers from 25 to 50 in the next 12 months.
“That gives you a competitive stable in Sydney. You need 50 to be there every Saturday and that’s where you’ve got to be for exposure to owners. You’ve got to be racing on a Saturday in town and the prizemoney is great.”