Trainer Mark Newnham has four fillies he believes can all be competitive in Oaks races.
Having celebrated his first Group One win in his second season as a trainer, Mark Newnham is keen for more and has four fillies on his hands headed to the ATC Australian Oaks.
Maid Of Heaven gave Newnham his first elite level win in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and will be joined by Flight Stakes placegetter Nakeeta Jane, VRC Oaks runner-up Greysful Glamour and Scarlet Dream, the winner of two provincial races.
Newnham, who spent many years in close contact with Group One performers as foreman for Gai Waterhouse, believes all four are capable of stepping up both in distance, and in some cases, class.
It is by coincidence more than design that Newnham has the four heading to staying features.
“It was not planned. I didn’t set out to look for staying fillies in particular but it’s just worked out that way,” Newnham said.
“Some I looked at myself at sales and others came to me.
“They are all nice fillies who, apart from Greysful Glamour, are relatively inexperienced but can step up.
“Greysful Glamour came back to the stable last week while the other three have been in for two or three weeks.
“They will all be aimed at the Oaks. Whether they all get there to the Sydney Oaks remains to be seen and there’s always South Australia and Queensland.”
Newnham said the four would also be entered for the Australian Derby with Maid Of Heaven the most likely to head that way after her performance against the males in the Spring Champion.
“She has already beaten them and I think she’s good enough for a Derby,” he said.
Of the four, Scarlet Dream is the least experienced and will head to the Oaks via the Kembla Grange Classic and Adrian Knox Stakes.
The other three are likely to go start off in the deep end in Group One racing in the Surround Stakes followed by the Coolmore Classic and Storm Queen Stakes before the Oaks.
“I’ll just see how they progress but they are all talented and all capable of getting a distance,” Newnham said.