'No rider error': Sherry still sweet for Newnham and Black Magnum
Mark Newnham didn't even give a second thought to Black Magnum's first-up defeat being a result of jockey error and says his highly-rated apprentice Tom Sherry is still equipped to be a force in Sydney.
On his first day as a junior rider at metropolitan level, Sherry walked away from the races disappointed after Newnham's promising sprinter Black Magnum was severely hampered at a rails-biased Kensington meeting.
The interference almost certainly cost Black Magnum another city success, which would have capped a long range plan for the horse to provide Sherry's first winner in town.
But Newnham, the former jockey who has taken an active role in tutoring the next generation of riders, didn't dwell on the result and backed Sherry to win over other connections in coming weeks.
"When he aimed up for the run, it was going to be narrow and there wasn’t any room for error," Newnham said. "There was a bit of a shift from the outside and it shut on him. It was no rider error, it was just luck in running.
"It doesn’t always fall your way. When you’re racing on tracks that have a definite bias everyone jams up into the same lanes."
Newnham has helped Robbie Dolan win the last two Sydney apprentice titles and with Sherry has a legitimate contender in the new season, which begins at Randwick on Saturday.
Newnham has delicately planned Sherry's transition into the city ranks after the rider had plenty of success at provincial and country tracks.
"Myself and Wayne Harris are trying to make these blokes good jockeys, not just good apprentices," Newnham said. "There’s a big difference.
"You can race through your claim if you allow it. That’s why they have a three-tier system so they can use it to their advantage and by the time they get to town they have that experience.
"You see a lot of kids fall by the wayside because they’re riding in town too soon and they chew up the winners. They haven’t had enough experience to be good enough to deal with circumstances when their claim reduces.
"When you’re claiming three [kilograms] you can cover up little mistakes, but once you get down to one-and-a-half and no claim there’s no room for error. He’s going to be riding in town regularly and he’s got 100 winners next to his name. Now is the time to do it."
Sherry will be back aboard Black Magnum in a benchmark 88, the sprinter just holding top billing in BetEasy's market on Thursday as a $4 favourite. Sangria was a $4.20 second pick ahead of Inanup ($4.60).
Newnham will have the chance to notch a race-to-race double with Sherry also to be legged aboard Fulmina, a $3 favourite as she returns to fillies and mares grade.
"I probably underestimated the step up to racing against the boys [last start behind Korcho], probably not just me but the market also," Newnham said.
"She probably started unders, but the difference between racing fillies and mares as opposed to colts and geldings is probably exaggerated because when you race against them over the distance you throw in the imports. That’s a big step. That pool of horses is a lot stronger."