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  • Writer's pictureHawkesbury Race Club


SUNDAY: July 5, 2020: IN his riding days Mitch Newman landed Grafton’s feature sprint, the time-honoured Ramornie Handicap (1200m), 19 years ago on Juggling Time.

The twice champion Sydney apprentice is back in the Jacaranda City for the first time as a trainer – and his decision to target the famous July carnival paid an immediate dividend today.

Newman took three horses to Grafton and won the Class 1 Handicap (1000m) with Debrief, the first of his three runners.

With non-claiming apprentice Cejay Graham aboard, stylish Rothesay three-year-old Debrief ($6) overcame 59.5kg topweight and an outside barrier (11 in a field of 12) to make it two wins on the bounce.

He had shed his maiden status over 1010m at Dubbo on June 12.

“I’ve been planning now for a few weeks to target the Grafton carnival, and it was great to get a winner with my first starter,” Newman said this evening.

“Debrief didn’t have any luck from the wide draw, and did a good job to win.

“I’ve purposely kept him around 1000m at his last few runs because he was coming up on the bridle on the home turn, but not finishing off over 1200m.

“However, Greg Ryan said after winning on him at Dubbo that he felt he would manage 1200m.

“Debrief won’t run again at Grafton, and I’ll probably give him a break.

“I’m confident there is more improvement in him.”

It’s been an excellent season for the former successful jockey. Debrief’s victory was Newman’s 10th winner, equalling his best season two years ago.

And he’s hoping for more success when the Grafton carnival ramps up on Wednesday.

Though he won’t be chasing the Listed Ramornie Handicap as a trainer, at least not this year, Newman will have two runners in supporting races at the Showcase meeting.

He plans to start The Bounty in the Class 6 Rural Plate (2200m) and Eighth Immortal, named after rugby league’s eighth immortal Andrew Johns (who is a part-owner) in the Class 2 Handicap (1100m).

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