By Ray Hickson
A Listed placing and a couple of impressive non-metro wins are enough to tell Mark Newnham that new acquisition Big Parade has plenty of talent but he hasn't set the bar too high for his stable debut at Kensington on Wednesday.
The four-year-old, unbeaten first-up, strikes Newnham as a professional type and the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1100m) is a good race to get a feel for where he stands where he’ll carry 59.5kg after Tom Sherry’s claim.
Back in June last year Big Parade ran Kordia to less than half a length in a Listed race in Brisbane and was last seen running second behind Enfleurage on a heavy track at Rosehill in January.
“He’s a nice horse, fairly uncomplicated, he’s still a colt but well behaved. I like him,’’ Newnham said.
“His wins have been out of town so I tried to find the easiest metropolitan race I could to kick him off in and he’s come up with a nice claim, a good barrier and an improving track.
“The owner informed me he’s probably not at his best on wet ground. I’m happy with the way he’s coming up and this is the right race to kick him off in.”
Newnham rode Big Parade in a gallop last week and feedback from both Sherry and Josh Parr, who have ridden the horse in his recent trials, suggest he’s on song to resume.
Both his trials have come on the Randwick polytrack, he’s won both but Newnham said he doesn’t place a lot of emphasis on results from the trials on the artificial surface.
“I don’t think they really tell you much other than they get you fit,’’ he said.
“We’ve seen horses recently win trials by big spaces on the poly and then not be able to reproduce that on race day. It probably means they have handled it well and others have not.
“I think it is a great tool to get them fit but as far as giving you a guide as to how they are going to perform you’re probably better getting your guide through their work.’’
Big Parade, $2.40 favourite with TAB, has raced up to 1400m in his five starts to date but Newnham feels he’s a sharp horse and he’ll be most effective up to 1200m.
Newnham has three-year-olds Zanzidance and Darling Diamond engaged in the Frosted @ Darley Handicap (1100m) though is considering saving the latter for another day.
The pair contested a 1080m synthetic trial at Randwick on August 11, won by Zanzidance and Newnham expects that filly to give a sight at her first run since contesting a very strong maiden back in April.
She ran sixth, beaten 2.7 lengths as a $6 chance, behind Peltzer and Anders over 1000m at Kembla Grange.
Big Parade wins a trial at Randwick on August 11
“It’s probably been the strongest two-year-old maiden run at Kembla for quite a while,’’ he said.
“She has come up well, she’s trialled well. She may be flattered by the space she put on them on the polytrack but her form was excellent in her two runs.
“Darling Diamond is a nice filly and has a good pedigree (by Pierro from Group 1 winner Diamond Drille), naturally she will be better when she gets over further.”
Meanwhile, Newnham said Arrowfield Sprint winner Splintex will resume in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 5 where he’ll clash with Everest contenders Nature Strip and Gytrash.
He said that is Splintex’s level now and he deserves the chance to impress the remaining TAB Everest slot holders in his first couple of starts this spring.
The four-year-old ran third behind Farnan in a 1050m barrier trial at Randwick on Tuesday morning.