By Ray Hickson
At this stage they’re the B-Team but trainer Mark Newnham has high hopes for promising fillies Scarlet Dream and Molten Rock as they continue their rise at Rosehill on Wednesday.
Newnham has remarkable strength in the three-year-old fillies ranks this season with Nakeeta Jane and Greysful Glamour Oaks-bound via Saturday’s Group 1 Surround Stakes at Randwick.
Scarlet Dream and Molten Rock are making their city debuts at Rosehill so have a way to go yet but Newnham has shown his hand by nominating them for the Australian Oaks during The Championships.
“If this pair are going to get to the Oaks it will be more than likely through the Adrian Knox,’’ he said.
“We have good depth in the three-year-old fillies and we will know a bit more after Saturday (with Nakeeta Jane and Greysful Glamour). The 1400m might not be their trip but they are on the way.’’
Scarlet Dream announced herself as a filly with staying promise once she reached a mile in her first campaign posting dominant wins at Kembla Grange and Newcastle.
She resumes in the Bowermans Office Furniture Handicap (1400m) on the back of two trials and while Newnham isn’t forecasting a first-up win he’s looking for a late surge.
“I’d expect she will run really well just because she has good ability,’’ he said.
Scarlet Dream wins easily at Newcastle in November
“It’s an unsuitable trip so I’d expect her to be hitting the line strongly. She’s drawn wide, she doesn’t have much gate speed anyway, but I’d be disappointed if she’s not one of the best finishers in the race.’’
The filly, $6 with TAB, wasn’t sporting blinkers in her barrier trials but Newnham said both were far better trials than what she produced prior to her debut.
Molten Rock has race fitness on her side when she tackles the TAB Rewards Handicap (1800m) after breaking her maiden over a mile at Gosford on February 12.
The High Chaparral filly clocked a slick 11.20 for her last 200m (Punters Intelligence) at Gosford and will appreciate a roomier track.
“She’ll enjoy the trip, she did a good job at Gosford getting around a tight track and finishing off a steady speed,’’ Newnham said.
“I’d imagine she will be able to put herself in a forward position. There’s no brilliance about her but she will stay.’’
An untimely suspension for leading apprentice Robbie Dolan means Mr Tickets will carry 62kg in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1300m).
The gelding has been placed in three of his five first-up runs and Newnham said he’ll run well but didn’t sound super confident under the weight from a tricky alley.
“He’s finding it hard with his rating because he’s somewhere between a midweek and a Saturday class horse so he is difficult to place,’’ he said.
“With Robbie suspended I didn’t want to claim with another apprentice so he has to carry the full weight but at the same time you get a senior jockey.’’