Craig Newitt has played a starring role at Royal Ascot but this week his racing ambitions are closer to home.
Newitt, who won the 2007 King’s Stand Stakes on Miss Andretti, is in a battle with Black Caviar’s jockey Luke Nolen for the Melbourne premiership.
And he wants to cancel out Nolen’s one-win lead at Sandown on Wednesday with Nolen to miss the next two city meetings.
Nolen edged ahead last Saturday before leaving for England to ride Black Caviar in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot at the weekend.
“Luke is off with Black Caviar this week and with a bit of luck she can win over there and then run again (in the July Cup) so he has to be over there longer,” Newitt said.
“I’ve got a couple of meetings this week to try to peg him back so hopefully I can get a couple of winners.”
Newitt has a ride in all six flat races on Wednesday’s card and he also has a promising book for Saturday’s Flemington meeting.
“I think I can draw level (on Wednesday),” Newitt said.
“I don’t know if I can get in front, but as long as I can snag one I’ll be happy.
“I’ve got a couple of nice rides on horses that handle the wet which will help.”
Newitt is chasing his first Melbourne premiership and says this season is his best shot.
With 160 winners Australia-wide, he leads the national premiership and is also ahead in the Victorian title. Claiming all three is not a goal.
“I’m more focused on the metro one at the moment,” he said.
“Ever since I moved over from Tassie I’ve finished in the top five but I’m yet to win one.”
Newitt admits two-time premiership winner Nolen has plenty of ammunition as the rider for premier trainer Peter Moody, but says he will give it his all in the final 12 meetings of the racing season.
“I had been on top of it for the past month or so and I figured if I was still in the race with a month or six weeks to go then I’d have a real crack at it,” Newitt said.
“It’s something that’s obviously very good on your CV if you can get it, so I’ll be having a throw at the stumps.”
Newitt’s best chance on Wednesday could come in his first ride of the day on the Rick Hore Lacy-trained Bec Said No Credit in the third race.