Hawkesbury Sunday - Right Time For Newnham

Mark Newnham had just taken out his trainer’s licence 18 months ago when prolific owner Frank Cook offered him a yearling filly that he warned would require time.
That filly, now an impressive looking three-year-old named Righteousness, makes her debut at Hawkesbury’s final meeting of the year on Sunday.
Newnham has followed Cook’s advice and taken Righteousness along steadily, not bothering to race her as a two-year-old.
Understandably he would love to repay his owner by winning races with the filly, especially as she is raced by some members of Newnham’s family and friends.
“Frank told me he would give me this filly to train when I took out my licence,” Newnham said.
“It was very good of him and, kindly, he also allowed some of my family and friends to join him in a lease.
“Righteousness is a big, strapping filly who has been a little slow to mature, and I haven’t pushed her but she has always shown good ability, and this race at Hawkesbury is a good starting point.
“I’m sure she will run well, and would be disappointed if she doesn’t finish in the top three.
“I’ll probably give her only two or three runs, and hopefully she could measure up as an Oaks prospect at next year’s Brisbane winter carnival.”
Righteousness got back to last in a fast run 5 1⁄2 f Canterbury maiden trial on November 3 but was strong through the line when seventh to Merican.
She showed rapid improvement from that hitout in a 6 f Warwick Farm trial on December 5 when, after beginning well, shared the lead in the middle stages and then took over before the turn and ran away from her rivals to score by nearly four lengths.
Newnham has put ear muffs on Righteousness for Hawkesbury debut, but stressed this was a precautionary measure.
“She was a little bit difficult to load at Canterbury, but with the blindfold on she was more relaxed at Warwick Farm and trialled accordingly,” he explained.
Newnham and Reith also combine with Jingles, who resumes in the JSJ Roofing F&M Benchmark 67 Handicap (1400m).
“I would have preferred to start her first-up at either 1200 or 6 1⁄2 f, but there was nothing suitable,” Newnham said.
“Jingles did a really good job or us at her first campaign, breaking through at Goulburn in September before a let-up.
“She will definitely take improvement from Sunday’s race.”
Reith also partners his brother-in-law Brad Widdup’s trio Heartaches, We Have Lift Off and Silent Sea at Hawkesbury.
Locally-based Widdup has split two of his dual acceptors, with Heartaches contesting the Blacktown City Hot Water Maiden Plate (1100m) and We Have Lift Off runs in the OnRail Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m).
Silent Sea lines up in the McGraths Hill Florist Class 2 Handicap (1100m).
Heartaches has raced only twice since joining Widdup’s team, and ran third in an 5 1⁄2 f 3YO Maiden Plate at the Mudgee Cup meeting on December 1.
Three-year-old filly We Have Lift Off is having her first start for her new trainer, and has been runner-up in recent trials at Warwick Farm and Wyong.
She was well in commission on debut 12 months ago when fourth (after leading) to Champ Elect in the Listed Calaway Gal (1110m) at Doomben.
Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Richard Nutman has opted for blinkers on topweight Kathaire, who will be ridden by his apprentice daughter Claire as they take on We Have Lift Off.
A victory would not be out of turn for Kathaire, as the four-year-old mare has been placed at four of her five starts to date.
Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees will be represented at the meeting by Bochy (1400m NewOz Concreting Benchmark 65 Handicap) and Sasso Corbaro (1100m Class 2 Handicap).
Bochy was withdrawn from a Scone engagement on Friday and Sasso Corbaro from Canterbury on Friday night.
All Too Hard filly Sasso Corbaro was runner-up twice at Canterbury last season before breaking through at home on the Beaumont track on July 27 when at long odds-on.
“She hasn’t been strong when unplaced in her two recent trials,” Lees said. “Hopefully, she can bring last season’s form to the races on Sunday.”

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