Progressive stayer to show he's King in The Beauford
King Frankel missed an important lead-up run but won't be beaten on the score of fitness in the $300,000 The Beauford (2300m) at Newcastle on Saturday.
Trainer Mark Newnham said King Frankel has taken no harm from a barrier incident at Rosehill last week that forced the stayer to be withdrawn.
"I always had it in my mind to run at Rosehill then back up in The Beauford," Newnham said.
"But he was in the barriers for a long time while they resaddled another horse, got his leg up in the barriers and had to be scratched.
"It was annoying more than anything but the horse is fine. I galloped him over seven furlongs (1400m) on Monday and he pulled up really well, he is very clean-winded.
"We also took him back to the barriers on Wednesday morning and there were no problems."
King Frankel, a winner of two of his three Australian starts since joining the Newnham stable, opened at $8 for The Beauford earlier this week but he is into $3 favouritism.
Newnham said he is likely to give the former English stayer a spell after The Beauford.
"King Frankel is a really nice little horse and he has adapted well to racing here," Newnham said.
"He's got a light weight, it's a small field and he is a progressive horse so we might as well be testing him in a $300,000 race."
Newnham also has Expat entered for the $1m The Hunter but the trainer suggested the firm track and extreme outside barrier would mean the mare stays home on Saturday.
"Expat will probably go for a spell now and we will get her ready for autumn," he said.
The Canterbury night racing season starts on Friday and Newnham has four strong entries – Skylight Song (race 1), Diamond Drummer (race 3), Mission Phoenix (race 6) and Amortal (race 7).
"I have a good team in at Canterbury, they are all under $10 so it gives you a bit of hope," Newnham said.
"Skylight Song is a nice, big horse but he has taken a couple of runs to get the hang of it. From a good draw he should go pretty well.
"With Diamond Drummer, it just shows you how long we have had wet tracks for because he had his first run on a dry track last week and performed really well. He's also drawn to get the right run."
Mission Phoenix hasn't won a race for nearly three years but he did miss more than two years racing due to leg injuries.
"I thought he needed the run first-up, he chased the whole race," Newnham said.
"He is well in on Friday with the blinkers back on."
Amortal is a five-year-old who has been restricted to just three career starts and is resuming over 1100m at the night meeting.
"This horse has had 101 troubles," Newnham revealed.
"His latest is he needed a wind operation after his last race.
"He's quite a decent horse but just has had so many injuries – and it hasn't been the same injury twice.
"The owners were nearly at a stage of retiring him unraced but he always showed me enough to keep going.
"I wasn't surprised he won twice in his debut preparation earlier this year because he has got the ability. He's had a couple of barrier trial and is ready for his latest comeback."