Sydney trainer Mark Newnham further strengthened his hand for the upcoming Flemington carnival when the VRC Oaks runner-up of last season Greysful Glamour struck her best form with a six-length victory at The Valley on Friday night.
Winless since beating all but Aristia in the VRC Oaks, Greysful Glamour put herself in contention for the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes over 2000 metres at Flemington on November 9 when she led throughout and then ran away from her rivals to score a soft win for Rachel King.
Newnham, who had never had a runner at The Valley before, explained the grey mare travelled to Melbourne last week with the trainer’s Victoria Derby favourite Shadow Hero and immediately settled in as she did last year.
"Rachel rated her really well and you could see a long way from home she was going to have a good kick and just back to mares’ grade and a track like this suits her," Newnham said.
"In the autumn she just didn’t quite come up to how we expected and this is just the confidence boost we needed to go onto Flemington."
Greysful Glamour ($5.50) had six lengths on the line over the $2.45 favourite Oceanex, with No Effort ($8) in third place.
The $300,000 Matriarch Stakes is likely to be Greysful Glamour’s next assignment now she’s thrown over her poor spate of form.
"She had a busy enough time at two and three," Newnham said. "Her run in the Oaks last year was fantastic but she just didn’t come up in the autumn. We’ve got her back now and in really good form."
Newnham faces one of his biggest days as a trainer next Saturday when he saddles the Sprint Champion Stakes winner Shadow Hero ($2.50 favourite) in the $2 million Victoria Derby.