Last year Mark Newnham won the $60,000 Kennedy Oaks Trial at Flemington with classy staying filly Greysful Glamour and on Wednesday at Flemington he won the same race again, this time with her three year-old half-sister Celestial Falls.
The Hinchinbrook filly won her final start last season over 1550 metres at Randwick, prompting her trainer to look towards the spring and a possible VRC Oaks campaign.
Tackling 1800 metres second up for this assignment, she led all the way for Tim Clark to score by more than a length and has now two races and placed twice from five starts earning over $90,000 in prizemoney.
“It wasn’t the plan to lead but once she was a little bit fresh early, Tim did the right thing and let her stride to the front,” Newnham said.
“Once she found her rhythm, she backed off nicely and showed a good kick.”
Greysful Glamour went on to run second to Aristia in last year’s VRC Oaks and Newnham said Celestial Falls was a similar type to her half-sister.
“They’re both very similar apart from the colour really,” Newnham said.
“She’s a lovely big relaxed filly and always shown she will stay. I didn’t have any hesitation with going from 1300(m) to 1800(m) with her second-up.
“I’ve always had the Oaks marked in mind for her.”
Celestial Falls was a modest $80,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Edinglassie Stud draft for Darby Racing/ De Burgh Equine and is second winner from Rippled (GB), a winning Dalakhani mare from the family of European Group I winners Crystal Music and Zelzal.
Rippled had a colt by Hinchinbrook make $150,000 at Inglis Easter this year when bought by Paul Moroney Bloodstock / Ballymore Stables and has a yearling colt to follow by the much missed Yarraman Park sire, who also sired the first two year-old winner in Australia this year in Mildred, who also saluted at Flemington.
Placed in a recent trial, the Grahame Begg trained Mildred raced just behind the leaders for Jordan Childs and kicked strongly to the line to win the 900 metre $50,000 Darley Spring Preview scamper by a short neck over the strong finishing Sebring filly Divine Caprice.
“She’s always been a very forward filly and the breaker up in New South Wales rated her very highly,” said Grahame Begg.
“She only came down here in August and has had the one trial, so she’s done this on ability.
“She worked really well last Saturday, so we thought why not roll the dice?”
A $45,000 Inglis Classic purchase for Neville Begg from the Middlebrook Valley Lodge draft, Mildred is eligible for the lucrative Inglis Banner race on Cox Plate day so will remain in work for that goal if she progresses as hoped.
Mildred is the fourth winner from stakes-winner Tempest Tost, a half-sister by Statue of Liberty (USA) to Group I winner Notoire and stakes-winner Well Known.