THURSDAY: July 9, 2020: MITCH Newman was on the road home from Grafton early this morning, and can’t wait for a return visit in 12 months’ time.
The Hawkesbury horseman made his first trip to the annual July carnival for the first time as a trainer – he won the 2001 Ramornie Handicap on Juggling Time during his riding days – with three horses and won with two of them.
Debrief produced a brilliant performance to score last Sunday, and Eighth Immortal ($11) followed that up yesterday, courtesy of a ground-saving Mitchell Bell ride, to land the Class 2 Handicap (1100m) at the RacingNSW Showcase meeting.
His other runner, The Bounty ($21) also earned prizemoney, finishing fourth in the Class 6 Rural Plate (2200m).
“It’s been a great carnival for us; I’ll definitely be going back next year,” Newman said this morning.
“I planned the trip a few weeks back, so it has been well worth it.
“All three horses raced really well.
“Eighth Immortal can be a bit unreliable at the barrier, and races best up on the speed.
“But I told Mitch (Bell) not to panic if he didn’t begin on terms with the others, and he rode him perfectly.
“I was also pleased with The Bounty’s run considering he was in a Class 6 as the winner of only two races so far.”
Newman has done a splendid job with Eighth Immortal since taking over his training.
Named after rugby league’s eighth immortal Andrew “Joey” Johns, who is a part-owner, the lightly-raced five-year-old has won two of his four starts since joining Newman’s Hawkesbury team.
After being last out of the stalls, Bell chose to stay near the inside entering the straight – and his move won the race.
He went around only one horse down the running, and Eighth Immortal finished determinedly to edge out $3.20 favorite Our Echo and Bozeman ($7.50).
Newman’s Grafton double took the twice champion Sydney apprentice to 11 wins for the season, joining Team Vigouroux as the second most successful Hawkesbury trainer so far this season behind Brad Widdup (38 wins).
And now he is chasing a Saturday success in town with in-form filly Diva Bella, who lines up at Rosehill Gardens at the weekend.
Newman has booked 3kg claimer Louise Day for Diva Bella in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1100m) against her own sex.
The Reward For Effort three-year-old takes on city rivals, having won her last two starts on the provincial circuit at Gosford (April 25) and Wyong (May 14).