Newsfan primed to put wind up rivals again
KIM Waugh will unleash emerging star Newsfan at Rosehill Gardens once again on Saturday and she's got no doubt about the mare's ability to back up her scintillating first-up win a fortnight ago.
The five-year-old was hugely impressive at Rosehill two weeks ago in winning over 1200m and Waugh says the mare's ready to do it again in the Benchmark 78 (1400m) race.
"She's done very well since her first-up win and she's been working well at home," Waugh said on Thursday.
"It wasn't a big field last time but it wasn't a bad field. There were a few chances in the field that I thought went quite well.
"She trialled very well and raced as good so she couldn't do much more. She got a lovely run and she showed the very good turn of foot she's got."
Newsfan does rise 3kg in weight this time and apprentice Sam Weatherley, with a 2kg claim, takes over from Josh Parr and will ride her out of barrier six.
Waugh wasn't worried about the extra weight Newsfan has to lug and she's got the right barrier to sit in a comfortable spot in the run.
"She drops a bit in class," Waugh said.
"She either had to go that way or run in the open race, which is a class of race she doesn't need to be in yet."
Newsfan was always going to be set for another crack at the Provincial Championships early next year and she can still win a few more races before she becomes ineligible for the rich series.
But if she comes out and blows them away again the temptation to find a Listed race instead is there.
A black-type win makes her a much more valuable horse for breeding purposes.
Waugh thinks the connections might be able to have their cake and eat it too.
"It's a tricky situation and you do change your mind at times but if she did go to the Provincial Championships we could always go to a few fillies and mares black-type races over the Hawkesbury and Scone carnivals," she said.
"We've got the Provincial Championships in mind so we might just give her another two runs before giving her a break. I think she's going to be one of those (black-type) horses for sure, but while she still qualifies for a race worth that much money we'd have to go that way if the owner wants to go there."
Our Century is on the comeback for Waugh at Rosehill after being struck down with a virus shortly after running third behind Destiny's Kiss in the Listed McKell Cup in May.
Before that he won the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) after running 10th first-up over 1400m. This time Waugh is going straight to 1900m in the November Topaz.
"When we ran him over 1400m first-up last time he was just chasing them," she said. "I think they end up having a tougher run over those sorts of trips. There wasn't much else around I was keen to race him in.
"He's fairly forward and will improve on whatever he does on Saturday but he's trialled twice and they've both pleased me. In both trials I let him have a bit of a hit-out at the end. I just wanted him to finish them off so he had a good gallop."
Waugh believes Oxford Poet can be forgiven for running only fifth to Marsupial first-up on November 6 at Randwick. The eight-year-old can make amends in the November Handicap (1400m).
"He ran into a good field and got softened up in the run when two outside him took him on and it was a very hot pace," Waugh said.
"I thought he still went very good considering the way the race was run. I'm looking forward to going up from 1200m to 1400m because he likes this trip more so it's a good race for him."
Oxford Poet hasn't won yet second-up from seven attempts but has run four placings and Tim Clark takes the ride and should be able to put him into a cushy spot from barrier four just off the speed.
"He's normally right around the mark second-up and he's got a really nice weight. If he races to his best he definitely goes close to winning," Waugh said.
"He's a tough old horse and we've had a lot of fun with him. He always gives 100 per cent and he has that natural turn of foot to go with a high cruising speed.
"He doesn't have to lead and if Jungle Edge leads that's fine. He'll be up there somewhere with them."