By Ray Hickson
The decision to geld a colt isn’t one taken lightly these days but for trainer Mark Newnham it took eight winless starts to make the call and turn Canyonero into a 'racehorse'.
Now it’s up to the three-year-old to deliver on the promise he’s already shown in six placings from those eight starts when he returns in the Events By ATC Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on Monday.
Newnham said it wasn’t a particularly tough decision as he wouldn’t have been stallion material.
“He wasn’t winning and he wasn’t running up to his work. He wasn’t as committed as he should be,’’ he said.
“It hasn’t all been lack of will, it’s been lack of luck at times too. You don’t get many horses win $90,000 in their first eight starts and be a maiden.
Canyonero runs second in a Rosehill trial on January 15
“He’s been racing well but not winning, he’s certainly got plenty of ability but we haven’t seen the best of him.’’
Canyonero has been readied for his return with two barrier trials at Rosehill, both won by Mr Dependable, and he showed significant improvement into the second.
Newnham has partnered Canyonero with in-form UK jockey Tom Marquand for the trials and he’ll be on board on Monday where TAB has him rated a $10 chance.
“Tom has been riding work for me since he got here, he’s a very good rider and a strong rider so that might be what he needs,’’ Newnham said.
“He needed the trials to be fit enough first-up. I was pleased to see him put himself in a more forward position, he jumped well and was able to get leader’s back.
“If we are right behind the leaders on Monday that would be perfect.’’
While the Newnham team took a hit with Group 1 winner Maid Of Heaven forced out of the carnival he’s producing another of his ATC Oaks contenders in Greysful Glamour at Tuesday’s Rosehill trials.
The grey will contest the same heat as Winx over the 1000m before the trainer locks in a first-up run for the Victorian Oaks runner-up.
“I had a ride on her on Friday morning, I’m really happy with her,’’ he said.
“I’ll decide after Tuesday whether she has two trials and gets into the fillies series in the Surround. If I’m happy with her I might run her in the Light Fingers (February 16).’’
Stablemate Nakeeta Jane has her second trial on February 7 at Randwick and will resume in the Light Fingers.
And Lanciato adds his name to the likes of Trapeze Artist, Alizee, Hartnell and Le Romain for Saturday’s Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill.