Quackerjack helps Newnham take to training like duck to water


“I only gave myself a three-year window to make it work.

“If it wasn’t going ahead in three years, I was going to do something else. I don’t know what that was going to be.

“But I’ve been in racing all my life, and if you don’t succeed quickly people will judge you quickly.

“I didn’t want to train in 10 years’ time with half a dozen or 10 horses. It was going to be 50-plus horses or none at all.

“We now have 65 in work. I didn’t think we’d have any group 1s. I hoped to be in the top-10 metropolitan trainers in five years, but it’s happened in three.

“The next three-and-a-half years I’d like to be a top-five trainer in Sydney, winning group 1s every season, which isn’t easy to do, and I’d like to consolidate my runners at Randwick – two stables runs well, but it can be time consuming.”

Unlike his days as a jockey Newnham, who started training in 2016, said one lesson he quickly learned was continuing to back his ability, despite often having to wait up to a month to chase another winner.

“You have to remain confident in yourself, whereas jockeys have the races on again tomorrow and it doesn’t take long to get another winner,” he said.

Quackerjack, like Newnham, has a soft spot for Randwick.

The chestnut with the giant white blaze never gaps his rivals and prefers a scrap, which was the case when he won the Goulburn Cup first-up and then dug deep to cling to second in the $1 million The Gong last start.

“He’s a tough animal, he had the toughest run in the race [at Kembla] but that’s him,” Newnham said.

“He’s best when it’s a real contest. Even when he’s won from in front, he enjoys a good rolling speed, and that’s what he’ll do Saturday – he’s a momentum-type of horse.

Former jockey Mark Newnham started training three years ago.Credit:Getty

“Last prep he ran second to [eventual Epsom winner] Kolding and then came out and won over the mile at Randwick.

“We gave him a spell with these races in mind. So far he’s lining up well. ”

Quackerjack could be freshened for a 1400m race on Magic Millions Day on the Gold Coast, while a Villiers win will guarantee a slot in the Doncaster, the autumn feature at Randwick where Newnham knows his four-year-old would give cheek with a light weight.

Newnham will also send around Hot Spring Gold and Mission Way in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) but both have drawn awfully.

Spring Champion Stakes winner Shadow Hero returned to the stable Monday in good order with the ATC Australian Derby campaign to feature the tried-and-true preparation of a first-up Hobartville Stakes assault followed by the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas.

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