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  • John Curtis


THURSDAY: April 29, 2021: TRAINER Mark Newnham is banking on a firm surface enabling topweight Greysful Glamour to bounce back and bow out of NSW racing in winning style at Hawkesbury on Saturday.

The dashing front-runner, nearing the end of her racetrack career for Darby Racing and her syndicate of owners, will have her final local start in the $200,000 Group 3 Evergreen Turf Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).

Victory would lift her stake earnings – currently $896,005 (including a $5625 BOBS bonus) – beyond the $1m mark.

Hawkesbury trainers’ premiership front-runner Newnham this morning confirmed two more starts for Greysful Glamour before she is offered for sale (Lot 679) at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale at the Gold Coast on May 25.

Her final start under his banner is likely to be in the Group 3 Pam O’Neill Stakes (1600m) against her own sex on the Doomben Cup program three days earlier.

Greysful Glamour at her latest outing finished last in the $1m Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 17 on Day 2 of The Championships when there was much conjecture about the state of the track, which was officially rated a “Good 4”.

Rider Josh Parr afterwards succinctly told stewards the mare needed a firmer surface, and a post-race vet examination revealed there were no abnormalities with her condition.

“The ground that day wasn’t suitable for her,” Newnham said. “She definitely needs firmer footing.

“Fortunately, she bounces off a run such as that because she looks after herself when she strikes an unsuitable track.

“Take the All-Star Mile at Moonee Valley in March as an example. It poured leading up to the race and ruined any chance she had, then she came out three weeks later and was just beaten in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on a good surface.

“She won the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last December with 56kg, so I’ve got no problem with her 59kg in the Hawkesbury Cup. She has earned it.”

Greysful Glamour is currently $5 second favorite with Ron Quinton’s Royal Celebration (Sam Clipperton), fifth in last year’s Cup after starting from the outside gate, heads the market at a firming $3.10.

Newnham has switched back to Greysful Glamour’s Villiers rider Rachel King, who won last season’s Hawkesbury jockeys’ premiership.

“Rachel has first choice of the ride on the mare as she has such a good record on her,” Newnham explained.

King has been aboard in three – the Villiers and Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill last year and a 1600m Moonee Valley victory against her own sex in 2019 – of her six career wins, with Tim Clark partnering the mare in her other three.

Both Clark (Sikandarabad) and Parr (2019 Hawkesbury Cup winner Archedemus) will be in the opposite corner on Saturday.

Newnham, understandably, will be sorry to see Greysful Glamour finish her racing career with him late next month.

“She was one of the first yearlings I got to train when I started out, and has been a real flag-bearer for the stable,” he said.

Newnham, who has trained 12 winners at Hawkesbury so far this season and holds a clear lead in the premiership, will have four runners at the stand-alone metropolitan meeting.

His other representatives are Blazing Miss (King) and Black Magnum (Robbie Dolan) in the Listed Hawkesbury XXXX Gold Rush (1100m), and Onchao (Parr) in the $200,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Group Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).

Whilst Newnham is yet to win the Guineas (he finished third with Quackerjack in 2019), Parr won the the feature event for three-year-olds the previous year on Sambro for Chris Waller.

Blinkers go on Onchao on Saturday, and his trainer considers him a good chance at double figure odds.

“He needed the run first-up at Canterbury when just beaten over 1200m on soft ground, and has had a nice trial since at Randwick and a couple of good gallops in blinkers,” Newnham said.

Onchao, a Medaglia D’Oro colt who races in the Spendthrift Australia colours, has raced only four times for two wins (at Gosford and Warwick Farm) and his Canterbury second on resumption.

Both Blazing Miss and Black Magnum have drawn awkwardly in the XXXX Gold Rush, and Newnham regards the former as the pick of his pair.

Recent impressive Randwick winner Ellsberg (Tim Clark) dominates betting on the Guineas, attempting to emulate the performance of his 2016 winning sire Spill The Beans.

Clark won the Guineas that year for Rosehill trainer Gerald Ryan, who now prepares the brilliantly-named Ellsberg in partnership with Sterling Alexiou.

Sadly, Spill The Beans died at stud in Queensland in late 2019 on the eve of his first metropolitan runner in Brisbane.

Ryan went to $280,000 to secure Ellsberg, a son of General Nediym mare and three-times winner Love Of Liberty, as a yearling at the Gold Coast in 2019.

. Hawkesbury this morning was rated a “Good 4”, with racing to begin at 11.50am with the running of the St Johns Park Bowling Club 2YO Clarendon Stakes (1400m).

. Paul Joice’s selections are:

RACE 1: GLENEAGLES, Aslav, Hoover Lucy.

RACE 2: KIRWAN’S LANE, Ruby Tuesday, Saigon.

RACE 3: GOLDEN GORGE, Don’tforgetmonica, Sly Song.

RACE 4: SAVOURY, Amoretti, Yangtze Rapids.

RACE 5: SWEET DEAL, Athiri, Air To Air.

RACE 6: EMBRACER, Varda, Special Reward.

RACE 7: ELLSBERG, Aim, Rainbow Connection.

RACE 8: GREYSFUL GLAMOUR, Royal Celebration, Archedemus.

RACE 9: GRANDE RUMORE, Tycoonist, Air To Air.



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