Craig Newitt forced to abandon Tasmania but the winners keep coming for the veteran jockey

Fittingly it was Mick Price who provided Craig Newitt with his first winner in Melbourne since he was forced to leave his home state due to racing being shutdown in Tasmania due to COVID-19 with an easy win on Immortal Love in the Tom Melbourne Handicap (1400m).

Newitt relocated from Tasmania in April when racing was stood down and only returned to the saddle at the start of May.

Over many years Price and Newitt combined for numerous big wins with horses such Lankan Rupee, Pompeii Ruler, Samaready Extreme Choice and Tarzino.

Newitt also rode Immortal Love at his debut victory at Echuca on May 6.

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It was only his third ride for Price and co-trainer Michael Kent junior since he returned but the trainer indicated he was doing the work to continue to get rides for them.

“It’s good to see him back. He was there this morning at 5am. He rode one after another for a couple of hours. He’s going to all the meetings and riding well,” Price said.

Craig Newitt rides Immortal Love to victory in race two at Flemington.Source:AAP

Price said if Newitt was prepared to do the work and as long as he was in good form he’d be happy to use him regularly.

Price quipped he told Newitt not to lead and he must not have heard him.

“That’s him. He’s an aggressive rider and gets the best out of them. It suits my horses, I guess.”

Newitt said he had the race won a long way from home.

Immortal Love is raced and bred by long time Price stable supporter in Peter Creighton and they had success with his dam Loveyamadly.

Newitt has been in superb form since returning to Victoria.Source:AAP

Creighton races under the United Syndications banner and Price said the reason Immortal Love won was because he followed his instruction to geld him.

Price said Immortal Love would have his next start in either the Elvstroem Classic (1300m) at Swan Hill on June 7 or at Moonee Valley the following Saturday over 1200m.

Price said the only reason Immortal Love ran over 1400m yesterday was because he couldn’t find a race over 1200m.

Immortal Love ($4.20) defeated Khoekhoe ($2.50 fav) by three and a quarter lengths with Indictment ($6) a length away third.

Price and Kent Junior later made it a winning double when Savaheat won the Brew’s Anniversary Plate (1800m) at $51.

Price said Savaheat is prepared at Warrnambool for them by fellow trainer Matthew Williams and he gave him a share in the horse recently.

Price said he had identified this race for Savaheat several weeks ago.




It was a proud Matt Laurie after the gutsy win of five-year-old gelding Alfa Oro to win the Almandin Handicap (1100m) which completed a hat-trick of wins and also took his record to four wins and two seconds from six starts.

Laurie thought two-years ago that Alfa Oro had the ability to be a Caulfield Guineas horse but he fractured a leg in trackwork.

Alfa Oro then had a plate and a screw inserted into the leg and then had to be nursed back to health.

“He was under siege there and showed a good amount of fight. He looked a bit green that last 300m but he’s a really good horse.We had a big opinion of him early and it’s good to have him back.”

His jockey Ben Melham said he was a nice progressive horse.

Ben Melham and Alfa Oro (right) combine to take out the Almandin Handicap.Source:AAP


The McEvoy operation’s Melbourne foreman Michael Shephardson said the ultimate gear change had transformed the form of Game Keeper.

Shephardson said the stable could now set their sights on the spring carnival after Game Keeper made it four wins from four starts this campaign by carrying 62kg to win the Efficient Handicap (2000m).

Shephardson said to win with that weight on testing ground was a brave performance. His jockey Oliver said he toughed out well and didn’t necessarily handle the going.


Michael Poy continued on his path to his second successive apprentice’s title with his all the way win in the opening race at Flemington on Sasko and then he added another victory on La Chevalee.

Both the trainers of the winners paid homage to Poy’s riding skills. Cumani said it was clever ride as he made it a true staying test. David Eustace She got a cracking ride.

Michael’s riding really well. He showed that he’s got a good clock in his head in the first race and he was patient there. Poy has ridden 30 city winners and leads Teo Nugent by six wins.

Matt Cumani continued his great run with a win by Sasko and he was delighted with the performance.

“This is a hugely satisfying win. I’m absolutely delighted for the horse. He’s such a champ and this was the way to do it. If he could get to the front, and he even got a few cheap sectionals.”

When Sasko won his previous start at Warrnambool he started at $13 and held off a challenge from Nashville sound who started at $2.25.

On Saturday Sasko started at $25 and Nashville Sound finished fourth and started at $11.


Star jumps jockey Shane Jackson was at Flemington in his role as foreman for Lindsey Smith and he over saw a winning double with Reyjkjavik and Great Again winning. He’s busy at the feature jumps day at Sandown Lakeside on Sunday. Here are his thoughts on his mounts:


“It was a very tough effort last start. She made a bad mistake at the last and did well to recover. Was very game in defeat. Slight concern on the heavy track, I think she’s better on top of the ground. But she’s fit, she’s tough and she’ll be in the finish.


Very gallant last time. He was taken on at the 1200m mark and it probably just softened him a little bit late. He was very tough only going down a short head with the pressure going on so early. The heavy ground might be a concern but he’s a tough horse, he’s a good horse and good horses can get through those conditions even if they don’t suit.


“It was a good run in the Grand Annual behind some good horses. He’s fit, he’s tough, he’ll stay. I think I’ll be riding him plenty positive tomorrow and he’s a really good chance.”


SUPRE – held up for a run

SAGARRA – lame in the off foreleg


DJANGO FREEMAN — Extremely encouraging Australian debut with his third behind Reykjavik.


“No one wants to work double time on a Sunday so that’s why I’m at Ballarat tomorrow.”

— Lindsey Smith explaining why he wasn’t at Flemington for his winning double.



Sasko ran his rivals ragged in the Rogan Josh Stayers Trophy (2500m).

Going out at $26 on TAB Fixed Odds, the Matt Cumani runner was pretty solid throughout the afternoon and briefly touched $23 before getting back out to $26 at the jump.

Rated a treat in front by Michael Poy, Sasko led all-the-way to beat Good Idea ($7-$12) and the well tried Nashville Sound ($18-$9.50).

The disappointment in terms of the betting was Shepard ($3.90-$3.30) which went around nearly twice as popular as anything else in the race.

BETS: Shepard $1300 @ $3.40, $4000 @ $3.30, $1000 @ $3.30 MULTIPLE TIMES, $1000 @ $3.20 TWICE

BETS: Starcaster $1500 @ $5.50


Immortal Love made it two wins from as many starts in the Tom Melbourne Trophy (1400m).

The son of Snitzel was supported throughout the day and jumped a $4.40 second pick behind Khoekhoe ($2.25-$2.50) which commanded over half the total investment.

Leading throughout for Craig Newitt, Immortal Love raced clear to beat the favourite easily while Indictment ($5-$6.50) made up good ground after being last on the turn.

BETS: Indictment $1000 @ $6.50

BETS: Khoekhoe $1500 @ $2.50, $1000 @ $2.50 TWICE, $1000 @ $2.20


There was money all day to suggest that La Chevalee could run a big race in the Redkirk Warrior Trophy (1400m).

Opening the day at $4.60, La Chevalee got to as low as $3.80 at one stage before getting back out to $4.20 late. Despite that, the filly was the most popular runner in terms of money held, edging out Debtndeficit ($4-$3.80) in that regard.

La Chevalee burst through the leading pack midway down the running and raced away to beat Diaquin ($18-$16) with Debtndeficit in third.

BETS: La Chevalee $1200 @ $4.40, $1000 @ $4.20

BETS: Debtndeficit $1300 @ $4.20, $1300 @ $3.90, $1300 @ $3.80


Favourite backers were cheering after Alfa Oro was too good for his rivals in the Almandin Handicap (1100m).

The $2.60 favourite, which had been $2.20 in the morning, went around with double the amount of money than any other runner in the race.

Racing on the speed throughout under Ben Melham, the Matt Laurie runner hit the front inside the final stages and then held off the fast-finishing Spirit Of Aquada ($18) to get the verdict. Pinyin ($13-$9.50) ran right up to the support for her and wound up third narrowly in front of the popular Ruban Bleu ($$8.50-$6.50).

BETS: Alfa Oro $1000 @ $2.60, $4000 @ $2.30, $6000 @ $1.40 PLACE

BETS: Ruban Bleu $1,000 @ $7

Damien Oliver rides Game Keeper to victory in the Efficient Handicap.Source:AAP


Game Keeper defied the betting drift in the Efficient Handicap (2000m).

The Tony & Calvin McEvoy-trained gelding opened the day as a $3.70 favourite, however, come jump time TAB was offering $5 which saw it shuffled to the third line of betting behind Tooradin ($4-$3.60) and November Dreaming ($7-$4.20).

Game Keeper loomed up ominously after straightening and finished hard to narrowly hold off the flying Blue Ocean ($18), with November Dreaming back in third after leading.

Tooradin, which went around with 33 percent of the total investment, dropped out after chiming on straightening.

BETS: November Dreaming $2000 @ $6, $1400 @ $4.80

BETS: Tooradin $2000 @ $3.50, $1000 @ $3.50, $1500 @ $3.40, $1000 @ $3.40 TWICE

BETS: Hezafox $1,000 @ $4.80


The win by Great Again wasn’t totally unexpected in the Hilton Nicholas Straight Six (1200m).

TAB saw good specking for the Lindsay Smith-trained runner throughout the afternoon and after $11 was on offering in the morning, it bottomed out at $8.50 before getting back out late to go back to its price from 9am.

Racing on the speed throughout, Great Again did enough to hold out the late closing Rich Charm ($34) with Home Of The Brave ($12-$9.50-$12) close behind in third.

The two most popular runners in Haunted ($5) and Milwaukee ($4.40) were out of the placings. Together, the pair were responsible for half the market.

BETS: Great Again $1400 @ $11

BETS: Haunted $1000 @ $5.50, $2000 @ $5, $1000 @ $5

BETS: Milwaukee $25,000 @ $4.40, $1000 @ $4.20

BETS: Miss Iano $2000 e/w @ $7/$2.30


It was a blowout in the Brew’s Anniversary Plate (1800m) with Savaheat landing the money at huge odds.

TAB had the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr runner as a $61 chance when the field got underway, with the five-year-old being one of the least favoured horses in the race.

Finishing best under Michael Dee, Savaheat beat the heavily supported Duke Of Plumpton ($3.60-$3.30 fav) which again proved costly for his fans. Masaff ($10-$16) rocketed home from the back to get third.

Of the unplaced brigade, Aussie Nugget ($3.30 eq fav) and Supre ($11-$7) had plenty riding on them with 43 percent of the money on those two runners alone.

BETS: Duke Of Plumpton $5000 @ $3.40, $2000 @ $3.30, $1000 @ $3.30

BETS: Aussie Nugget $1000 @ $3.30, $3000 @ $3.20, $1000 @ $3

Reykjavik takes out the Apache Cat Handicap.Source:AAP


Shot Of Irish and So Si Bon were the two best tried runners in the race but it was left to Reykjavik to swoop home at double figures.

Reykjavik ($9.50-$11) had its admirers but did get out in the betting slightly as So Si Bon ($4.40) and Shot Of Irish ($2.90) commanded the bulk of the investment.

Django Freeman ($5-$9.50) was tried at eachway odds too although it drifted throughout the afternoon.

BETS: Reykjavik $1000 @ $11

BETS: Django Freeman $1000 @ $9

BETS: Shot Of Irish $1400 @ $2.90, $1000 @ $2.90 multiple times

BETS: So Si Bon $2000 e/w @ $4.40/$1.75


Although attracting some money, Roccasbascerana wasn’t the most popular runner for the running of the Living Legends Plate (1100m).

That honour went to The Astrologist ($4.60-$3.50) just in front of Hilo ($4.20-$4.80) with the pair holding more than half the market for the final event.

Roccabascerana, for Jamie Kah and Will Clarken, was $8.50-$9.50 on the day but was the third best tried runner outside the two abovementioned horses.

Hi Stranger ($21) and The Astrologist filled the minors.

BETS: Roccasbascerana $1000 @ $8.50

BETS: The Astrologist $1000 @ $4.20, $8000 @ $3.80, $4500 @ $3.80, $1000 @ $3.70, $3,000 @ $3.20

BETS: Hilo $1000 @ $5 MULTIPLE TIMES, $1080 @ $4.80, $1000 @ $4.80

BETS: Can’t Be Done $2000 @ $5

Originally published asNewitt’s exodus from Tassie paying handsomely

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