Newnham banking on A Very Fine return

She will launch her campaign in a benchmark race, but A Very Fine Red has stakes targets in store.

If A Very Fine Red can repeat her first-up effort from last time trainer Mark Newnham expects her to go close to kicking off her latest campaign with a win. 

The talented mare resumed with a third to Everest contender Mazu in the Fireball Quality (1100m) in March and finds a much softer assignment in Saturday's benchmark 78 Irresistible Pools & Spas Handicap over the same journey at Rosehill. 

"First-up last time she ran third to Mazu, so the plan with her is to run Saturday and then go to Caulfield for the Alinghi Stakes on Caulfield Cup day," Newnham said. 

"I'd like to see her winning. She's pretty forward, so she will run well and she handles soft ground." 

A Very Fine Red is yet to miss a top-three finish in her trio of fresh runs and Newnham has been buoyed by her two trials, in particular her fourth to stablemate Joyful Fortune last month. 

Eduardo finished second in the heat and Joyful Fortune subsequently came out and thumped his rivals by more than four lengths at Flemington on Sunday. 

"She's in good form. Her first trial has proven a strong trial against Joyful Fortune and Eduardo and she was right on their heels," Newnham said. 

"She's had another trial since then and a bit of work, so she won't be far off." 

Newnham will also saddle up Expat in the Group 2 Racing & Sports Golden Pendant (1400m) and possibly three-year-old Spicy Hotpot in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m). 

Newnham is keen to get the latter back to the races but will weigh up the merits of sending her around from a wide draw on Saturday. 

"I'll have a better look at that race and see," Newnham said. 

"She's quite a good filly and there are a couple of races during the spring I wouldn't mind getting her we just have to wait and see where we kick off." 




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