Newnham brings Glamour and Spirit to Summer Cup
Trainer Mark Newnham has hit a purple patch and will look to take advantage of Greysful Glamour being in “the best form of her career” or imported stayer Spirit Ridge finally getting to the right trip in the Summer Cup at Randwick on Saturday.
Newnham’s stable has had a dozen winners in the past month, including two wins for Greysful Glamour, which led all the -way in the Villiers Stakes at her last start.
She has now earned the top weight of 59kg in the group 3 Summer Cup (2000m), a race where Spirit Ridge will be on the limit weight of 53kg as he is forced to step up in grade.
“There is not much between them,” Newnham said. “I haven't been on either of them this week because they are going so well, so I don’t need too.
“Greysful Glamour has taken a little while to deliver what we thought she would, and now she is in this sort of form it is the right time to take advantage.
“She has been winning, while Spirit Ridge has been racing very well and not quite getting the result.
“The thing with him is that in three starts in Australia he has never finish further back than second, and this is the first time he gets to his right distance range.”
Newnham has had difficulty finding races for Spirit Ridge, which had a month between his first-up second at Newcastle on The Hunter day and being run down by Kirwan’s Lane as a well-supported favourite at Randwick a couple of weeks ago.
“There isn’t the races for him at this sort of trip, so you have to take the big jump up [in grade],” Newnham said. “I think he is going to be up to this standard and better at this trip.”
Bookmakers agreed, making Spirit Ridge the $4 favourite in front of his better credentialled stablemate, who is $4.60 alongside Laure Me In, which was runner-up to Greysful Glamour in the ATC Cup a month ago.
That was the beginning of Newnham’s impressive run, which has included three city doubles and three black-type successes. It has him third on the metropolitan trainer’s premiership only just over four years since saddling his first runner.
“I would have never expected to be where I am so quickly. It is probably where you are aiming to get, but to be here in 4½ years is great,” Newnham said. "Now I'm here, I want to stay here.
“We have got better every year, and the quality of the horse we have shows that. What I’m most proud of is having all the group wins.
“We are in these races instead of watching them, and we are going into them with good chances.”
Newnham has 82 wins for 2020 training out stables at Warwick Farm and Randwick. He would love to move his operation exclusively to Randwick.
"If I had one wish it would be to have the one stable with about the 80 horses I have at the moment," Newnham said.
Greysful Glamour has been there as the Newnham stable has been on the rise, and she is evidence of his talent as a horseman.
She had her first start in the Widden Stakes as a two-year-old before winning her maiden six weeks later and then marking herself as stayer with potential when fourth in the Fernhill Stakes in 2018.
Later that year, she won the Oaks Trial at Flemington and was runner-up in Aristia’s VRC Oaks, but it was another year until she won again.
“This preparation is what we thought she would produce, it has just taken a bit of time to get there,” Newnham said. “She doesn’t like wet tracks and likes to lead in her races.
“This race seems to have a bit of speed with those horses from Gai [Wolfe and Vadiyann] but I think she is going good enough to still be right in the mix."