Randwick trainer Mark Newnham is on a family holiday in Italy and he expects smart two-year-old colt Canyonero to help pay for the trip by winning at Newcastle on Saturday.
The juvenile has outstanding metropolitan form for a 1200-metre 2YO maiden plate at the provincials.
Canyonero has had four starts for three placings, all on metropolitan tracks.
First up from a spell at a Rosehill Saturday meeting, the colt was beaten only 1 ½ lengths by the talented Ronstar.
He was run down late when runner-up on the Randwick Kensington track on June 11.
Newnham was bullish about Canyonero’s prospects when contacted at 7am Italian time on Thursday.
“He is a pretty smart colt, as his form indicates,” Newnham said.
“It is a huge drop in class and I am running him at Newcastle for a kill. Canyonero is well weighted under the set-weight conditions of the Newcastle race.
“He would have much more weight in a handicap race. We are confident he will win this race then return to metropolitan racing.
“I am putting my faith in Canyonero to pay for the holiday in Italy. I am not too concerned with the wide barrier as he has good speed.”
The former jockey also has Mr Tickets in the 1400m Nobbys benchmark 70 handicap at Newcastle. Mr Tickets has three wins and eight placings from 16 starts and will be one of the favourites.
Originally handicapped to carry 62 kilograms, he will benefit from a three-kilogram claim for in-form Irish apprentice Robbie Dolan.
Newnham was not as confident about Mr Tickets.
“He is a trickster,” Newnham said. “Runs a lot of seconds. Mr Tickets is also weighted well after the claim, but in the past he hasn’t liked sticking his head out.
“He can win the race, as his first-up run was very good and he goes well second-up and has raced well at Newcastle. Hoping more than confident.”
The Hawkes training partnership has called on Hall of Fame jockey Robert Thompson to partner blueblood three-year-old Mascot in the opening event, the 1400m maiden plate.
Mascot, a son of the great Redoute’s Choice, is yet to win a race in six starts but he has been placed four times.
He was beaten by a nose at Randwick on New Year’s Day and was a close second at Hawkesbury on June 21.
The Hawkes team and Thompson have a great strike rate when they combine at Newcastle meetings.
Mascot is raced by some big players in Australian racing, including Arrowfield Stud’s John Messara and radio king Alan Jones.
The clash of Gosford pair The Big Vin and Americana Magic in the the 1200m class 2 handicap will be one of the highlights of the meeting.
The Big Vin wasn’t comfortable on the heavy track yet still won a Newcastle maiden two starts back. Last start he raced away from a strong class 1 field at Scone.
Americana Magic bolted in at Wyong two starts back, then was never on the track when beaten a nose at Newcastle two weeks ago.
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