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Warwick Farm preview: Dragon ready to roar


“I’m wary of getting him to 1200m because I think he’s a 1000 metre and 1100 metre horse, so this race suits,” Newnham said. “I didn’t want to take him to 1200 metres yet. I could’ve run him in the Darby Munro on Saturday but I didn’t think he was ready for 1200 metres.”Newnham picked out Wednesday’s Benchmark 78 (1000m) for his three-year-old after he ran ninth in the Listed Fireball (1100m) at Randwick two weeks ago.He is bringing him back in grade in hopes to get back to winning form but it won’t be easy because it’s a very competitive sprint.Regular rider Tyler Schiller is on the lightly-raced horse who has only missed one placing in seven starts. Schiller’s claim gets Dragonstone into the race with 60kg on his back. “This was the only race I could find to get another run into him and we’ll find out after this one if he’s up to Stakes racing,” Newnham said.“He’s only a small horse but short trips with big weights are never a big issue for me and he’s drawn well enough (6) and Tyler knows him well.”“He’s trained on well since the last run.”One of his rivals on Wednesday is stablemate Sixgun who is also very consistent, having not missed a placing this time in and while he’s not going to start shorter than Dragonstone Newnham wouldn’t rule out an upset. “I wouldn’t have much between them,” he said. “He’s an older, more seasoned horse who enjoys wet ground and fast-run races and he’s got a good gate (3).“He’ll run well because he’s consistent in this sort of grade.”Newnham runs Shadow Devil in the last race after he last run in the Inglis Sprint (1200m) at Flemington.“He was a bit lost in the straight for the first time and he was right on the outside,” Newnham said. “He just didn’t know where to let down. Horses are used to kicking off a bend and he’s always made his run chasing horses but he got lost at Flemington.“It was a good opportunity to run in a race worth plenty of money and now he steps back in grade a bit.”Prior to that seventh placing in Victoria Shadow Devil won his first two races at Gosford and he should be much better suited to the Sydney way once again on wet ground.“I think he’ll handle it fine. I don’t think it will bother him and unless you run them on wet ground you won’t find out and you’ve got to do it at this time of the year,” Newnham said. Mission Value returns off a 60-week spell after suffering a stress fracture in late 2020 and he runs in the third race.He ran third on debut in the Listed Inglis Nursery at Randwick.“He ran well in his first start and he’s back off two decent enough trials but didn’t trial in blinkers and he’s shown improvement in his work wearing blinkers,” Newnham said.DUNN HAS A DEEP ADMIRATION FOR RESUMING ROMANCEThe punters like Deep Romance as much as her trainer ahead of Wednesday’s third race at Warwick Farm.The Deep Field three-year-old is set to start favourite on her return from a 17-week spell.She placed twice from her three runs last time in and her trainer Matt Dunn was more than happy with what he saw in her barrier trial over 807m when she ran a comfortable second.He expected a good showing in that heat however.“Her work at home has suggested that she’s improved. She’s been working with city-grade Saturday horses that she couldn’t work with before so I think she’s found a bit and she’s physically stronger,” Dunn said. “She’s going very well and has improved quite a bit.”Regan Bayliss should be able to give Deep Romance the ideal run one off the fence and a pair back.“She trialled up well and I suppose the only concern I’d have is going into the race off one trial on a track that might be a bit off,” Dunn said.“She did run well on a Heavy 8 at Canterbury last time in so she should be fine.“She should get the right run from the gate. Hopefully we just don’t get too much rain on the day.”Badoosh has been teasing punters for some time now and he runs in the sixth race after running a close fifth at Canterbury last time out.“He’s a frustrating horse because he runs well every time he goes around but he just needs to win one to get a bit of confidence back,” Dunn said. “If the track is really wet that’s a good thing. Some of his better runs are from awkward gates too.”Rocklily goes around in a race earlier and Dunn was forgiving for her sixth placing last time and has given her a barrier trial since.“Her run at Canterbury was a bit weird,” he said. “Her last 50m was good after looking like she wasn’t handling the wet track but she’s a good filly who is just starting to get her head around things.”Six Again is an emergency in the seventh event.“If she gets a run, she’ll run well but if not, she’ll race the following week which might be a blessing in disguise,” Dunn said.“If she wins, she’ll get smashed with ratings points in the Benchmark 78. There’s a 72 race for her next week.”

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