It was a mad scramble at the start of the week for Mark Newnham to find a jockey to ride his in-form gelding Marway after his apprentice’s injury last Saturday.
Thankfully, he found the perfect replacement to ride the dominant $2.60 favourite in the sixth event at Randwick on Saturday.
“I had Tommy Sherry booked for everything so it was hard. But I was lucky that Rachel King became available to ride Marway because you really need someone who knows him,” Newnham said.
Marway has defied history to be a success in Sydney after previously racing in Rockhampton.
He’s won three of his past four runs including a four-length victory over Handle The Truth in the Wagga Town Plate.
“He’s been a very enjoyable horse to train and I got a lot of satisfaction out of the last two wins because his owners came down from Rockhampton to watch him,” Newnham said.
“Usually they go the other way. I’m normally sending them there after a fair degree of disappointment so it’s nice for it to happen the other way around with him.
“You get enough ordinary surprises in racing but he’s been a pleasant surprise.”
Newnham is glad he gave the five-year-old a shot in the much more ruthless Sydney racing scene.
“I got a call from Elaine Sturgiss (owner). She just rang me out of the blue and said he deserves a chance in Sydney,” Newnham said.
“I was a bit wary. I told them I’d look at his form and ring them back. He had about eight wins to his name and any horse that can do that goes well so I told them to send him down.”
Mark Newnham says Marway has been a handy addition to his stable. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
To win on Saturday he’ll have to beat the likes of Snitz, Enchanted Heat, Wandabaa and Tactical Advantage – all horses with Group form behind them.
“This is his toughest test. With him though, it’s more about how he behaves. He was great at Wagga when he settled well after going too hard the start earlier which he still managed to win,” Newnham said.
“We’ve got a good routine with him now in his work and it seems to be working for him.”
Sixgun will also have to be at his best in the fifth, which is a race stacked full of three-year-olds on the rise.
Sixgun is one of them and is a $4.80 favourite against Stoltz, Cream Rises, Bravado, Tycoonist and Nags To Riches.
He did get beat first-up by Accelerato at Warwick Farm.
“I understood why he got beaten. He’s still very new and can make mistakes in his races which he did every run last preparation,” Newnham said.
“Those races against older horses are tricky when you don’t draw well and that’s how it turned out.”
Mathew Cahill rides the son of Snitzel out of barrier six where he should get the perfect run in transit.
“He’ll keep improving. He’s got a lot of natural talent and he’ll get himself into a forward position in this race and he’s back at his home track over 1200m,” Newnham said.
“There’s more positives than negatives for him.”
Sixgun is the favourite in an open race at Randwick. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Colour De Roy kicks off the day for Newnham in the opening race for two-year-olds.
He upset odds-on pop Satin Ribbons first-up at Kembla Grange after two sixth placings in the summer.
He’s a colt by Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and gets the gun run from barrier three under Sam Clipperton.
He’s rated a $10 hope behind well-supported debutant Sacred Field ($2), who will jump from the outside gate.
“His two runs last time in were quite good without much luck. He’s a stronger horse now and he did a good job at Kembla,” Newnham said.
“He’s drawn a nice gate and he’s a genuine straightforward horse who will put himself into a position where he’s able to win if he’s good enough.”
Black Magnum is at a crossroads in his career ahead of the last event.
“He is because this is his grade and he’s got quite a high rating for a horse that hasn’t won a Saturday race yet,” Newnham said.
“He manages to win a race each prep and he’s got a good gate (2).”
He ran last a fortnight ago at Rosehill where he was his own worst enemy.
“He was on pace the other day and it didn’t work out. He just went too keen and dropped out,” Newnham said.
“He runs well at Randwick and he likes soft ground. With the claim he should run well.”
Originally published asRocky wonder going right Way for Newnham
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