SATURDAY: October 26, 2019: HOPE springs eternal in racing!
Hawkesbury trainer Mitch Newman couldn’t quite manage a Group 1 winner during a successful riding career and is yet to prepare one.
But he still harbours hope of doing so. And perhaps yesterday’s impressive Canberra winner Piping Roller could be the filly to fulfil his dream?
Having only her third start, the lightly-raced Your Song three-year-old easily disposed of her rivals in the Maiden Handicap (1200m) as a $1.90 favorite.
With Chad Lever aboard, she cleared out over the closing stages to score by just over four lengths from Chabrol ($5.50) and Scarleo ($7.50).
Piping Roller was Newman’s first winner this season, but he has had only seven starters.
He trained three winners last season – Not A Sound at Orange just before Christmas was his previous until yesterday – and he has culled his team.
“I’ve got only half a dozen horses in work,” he said today. “We retired a few and I only bought one yearling last season, and that slows you down a bit,” he said.
“This filly is a bit exciting. There is still a lot of improvement in her.
“She got back in her first two runs and raced on the speed at Canberra.
“I expected her to win yesterday because she had come out of two good form races, but she still had to go there and do it.
“Piping Roller has pulled up okay, and her progress will determine what we do with her next.”
Piping Roller’s dam Prayer Time died in August, 2016 only a week after foaling her.
“I purposely haven’t pushed her,” he said. She had two trials earlier in the year, but chose not to race her as a two-year-old,” he said.
Piping Roller (with Lever in the saddle) won an 800m trial on her home track on September 9 and then debuted 17 days later with an encouraging third to another debutant Mir in a Hawkesbury Maiden Plate (1000m).
She followed up with a close second to Bowery Breeze (third placegetter Van Giz won at Hawkesbury last Thursday) in a Kembla Grange Maiden Plate (1000m) against her own sex on October 12.
Newman retired from race riding in late 2006. His last winner was Petrel at Newcastle on December 16 that year.
“I rode a Group 3 winner and three Listed winners, but never a Group 1 winner although I managed two placings,” he said.
“I’d love to train one and who knows if this filly (Piping Roller) can make the grade? Let’s hope so.”