Newnham Fillies Out To Enhance Oaks Claims In Vinery
Her breakthrough win at Kembla Grange wasn’t so much a resurrection but a coming of age for talented filly Miravalle and trainer Mark Newnham believes she’s on track to provide him an elusive Oaks victory later this month.
And the trainer has the same sentiment about stablemate Harmony Rose who proved in running third in the Randwick Guineas she’s a top class filly in the making.
The pair go head-to-head in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday and Newnham can make a strong case for both to win and enhance their claims for the $1m feature at Randwick on April 17.
Miravalle had plenty expected of her in the spring but she just fell short of the top level through to the VRC Oaks. A different filly has emerged in the autumn and her Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic win was evidence of that.
“It toughened her up for this prep,’’ Newnham said.
“She didn’t have a lot of luck a couple of times and when she got to Melbourne she ran well both times but it was the end of a long prep.
“(Kembla) was a confidence boost for horse and trainer. I’ve always thought she was a stakes class filly and a good stakes class filly so to see her put them away was pleasing.”
Newnham said he didn’t have to change a lot with Miravalle, more learn about her, but time has been an ally and the three-year-old is now more mature.
“It was just a matter of tinkering a little bit with her work and she responded to it,’’ he said.
“The best part of her win was she committed to taking a gap and hit the line strongly.
“She has a nice enough draw where she will be settling somewhere in the middle of them if not three parts of the way back. I would think she will be pretty hard to beat.”
Single Gaze in 2016 is the last Kembla Grange Classic winner to take out the Vinery Stud Stakes while last year’s Vinery winner Shout The Bar was runner-up at Kembla.
Miravalle is clearly the outsider of Newnham’s duo at $12 with TAB (on Thursday) while Harmony Rose commands favouritism at $2.70.
Harmony Rose only made her debut on October 24, by that stage Miravalle had five starts under her belt including two at Group 1 level, but like Newnham’s former smart fillies Scarlet Dream and Nakeeta Jane has improved sharply in her second preparation.
Like Nakeeta Jane, Harmony Rose ran third in the Randwick Guineas (last week’s Rosehill Guineas winner Mo’unga just ahead of her) and Newnham said she’s come on nicely since that run four weeks ago.
“Her gallop (Wednesday) morning reflected that so I’d be pretty keen on her chances,’’ he said.
“She was fantastic first-up and even better second-up considering she came from a midweek win and that form has been franked last Saturday. I’d be disappointed if she’s not right in the finish.”
He said gate one is ideal for Harmony Rose who has proven in her five starts to date she has the early speed to take advantage of an inside marble.
“I was really keen for her to draw well. She’s not a great beginner but can muster quite quickly after that,’’ Newnham said.
“She’ll get into a midfield spot, maybe closer depending on the pace of the race so that will suit her.”
Newnham has had four runners in various Oaks so far for a second with Greysful Glamour in the 2018 VRC Oaks and Scaret Dream in the 2019 Australian Oaks, a third with Quintessa in last year's Australian Oaks and Miravalle's fourth last spring.
There might be two zeroes against popular grey Greysful Glamour’s name but Newnham warns the mare can easily rebound in the Group 2 $200,000 Canadian Club Emancipation Stakes (1500m).
That’s simply because she has ‘form’ when coming off failures in Melbourne and returning to a good track in Sydney.
Greysful Glamour basically refused to participate in the All Star Mile after a deluge on race day and was beaten some 57 lengths. Prior to her wins in the ATC Cup and Villiers in the summer she’d failed twice in Melbourne.
“She’s come off those sorts of runs previously and performed really well,’’ he said.
“The key to her is good ground so I’d expect she will bounce back well. She’s got to the stage where that’s all she does now when it’s wet, she doesn’t even like coming out in the rain in the morning. The upside is she conserves energy for a later day.
“She’s in a race that suits her, I would say she will get control of the speed there on good ground with a 6m rail.”
The five-year-old was a $10 chance with TAB on Thursday and is in her final campaign with Newnham as she’s bound for a broodmare sale in May.